Gamification in Healthcare – Let’s Play!

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Bernadette Keefe MD

 “Playing a game is the voluntary effort to overcome unnecessary obstacles.” (Bernard Suits)

Introduction

Game-play focuses and controls our attention, taps into our innate strengths, thrills us utterly, and compels us to greater resilience in the attainment of more powerful and effective skills. For these reasons, some believe that game-play is an invaluable tool to employ in tackling the biggest problems in our world today.

The ability of gaming to focus human attention so completely has attracted all those who wish to harness just a piece of that attention for their own ends. Business, education, and healthcare have all used gamification with the hopes of affecting certain desired behaviors. The goals of gamification in healthcare would be no less than to effect personal and societal behavior change, to achieve improved individual health, and the health of populations.

A flurry of aspirational papers and some early results propelled gamification in healthcare to a Gartner’s Hype Cycle * peak ‘hype’ in 2011-2013. Years 2014-2015 found gamification in healthcare in a period of disillusionment. Now the sentiment for gaming seems to be on the upswing, as more attention is being paid to high quality game design and targeted use.

 In this paper, I will give some history and context to game play, video game design, and the gameful mindset to show how gamification in health and healthcare can and does happen successfully when done well. I will also include demonstrative examples and a large number of references for further perusal.

What is A Game

Games are a structured “form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.” –wikipedia

The history of gaming goes back to ancient times and game-play is one of the oldest forms of social interaction. In essence, the games we play are a celebration of our potential, our dreams, and our innermost passions. Game-play is self-revelatory, and, at the same time, takes us ‘out of ourselves’.

The vast variety of game forms, both ancient and modern, speaks to the centrality of games, and game-play in human life. We play games seated, across from each other, standing, poised ‘in combat’ at the 50 yard line in stadiums, and across the world, in online video games. We stand, jump, kick, run for both online and offline physical games. ‘Exergaming’, the combination of video gaming and exercise, has taken individual and group exercise to a new level. The brilliant ancient Chinese game of ‘Go’, a territorial board game of strategy, is played with as much passion today, as it was several centuries ago!

Game-Collage

Collage of Non-Sport Gaming

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The Power and The Glory of Walking

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Introduction  

Walking

Definition: to move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once.-

Synonyms:  stroll, saunter, amble, trudge, plod, dawdle, hike, tramp, tromp, slog, stomp, trek, march, stride, sashay, glide, troop, patrol, wander, ramble, tread, prowl, promenade, roam, traipse

Wikipedia

“What if a simple act could change the world?” – Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of the Pedestrian Life

Born to Walk – Trailer

Walking for Health 

The U.S. Surgeon General regularly announces public health campaigns, “Calls to Action”, which are deemed particularly important for the overall health of the nation. A “Call to Action” is defined as “a science-based document to stimulate action nationwide to solve a major public health problem”.

For 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy chose walking as the focus, when he announced the ‘Step It Up’ campaign. The ‘Step It Up’ campaign was designed to promote walking and walkable communities. Here is the video which accompanied the launch:

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Fireside Chats – A Celebration of Self Care and Care for Each Other

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Bernadette Keefe MD

A Holiday Post that translates to any gathering with loved ones ~ BK

The Path to Wellness

‘Tis the season of celebration. As we are in a festive month, I’d like to talk about a few celebratory health related ‘fireside chats’ that we might consider when we gather with our families and friends this holiday season. Conversations around health and healthcare are often avoided as they can invite a difficult mixture of bad news, fear, criticism, advice, or unwanted cajoling. I’d like to flip these chats towards celebration by identifying four major things in life that are both good for us, and are, at essence, a cause for celebration.

For this post on holiday “fireside chats; a celebration of self-care”, I chose four major topics to delve into: emotional health, physical exercise, food and food culture and the circle of life. Included within are videos, text and references that I hope hone in on the essence of self care, and the process of creating healthy lives for ourselves, and our loved ones.

Let’s celebrate the role of self-care in the lives of ourselves, our families, and our friends!

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Aging: It’s A Good Thing!

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 Honoring Active Aging Week 2015, September 27th– October 3rd.

From Active Aging Week website,

“This year’s Theme: Live Your Adventure!  Led by the International Council on Active Aging, Active Aging Week celebrates aging and active living. Each year event organizers engage participants in wellness activities in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere.”

             my-adventure-book

 

Each day of active aging week has a corresponding theme, thus the “adventure book” has 7 Chapters, each devoted to a specific aspect of wellness in aging. Chapter details follow:

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Boomers, Got Fit (bit)?

Boomers – Got Fit (bit)?

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Bernadette Keefe MD

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”                              

 (credited to by not said by W. Edwards Deming)

 Introduction

If you are 50 years of age or older you are a baby boomer, that means by 2030, there will be 77 Million people over the age of 65 in the U.S. alone. The U.S. National Institute of Aging has designated September as a Go-4-Life month: a national exercise and physical activity campaign for people 50+. The goal is to empower older adults to become more physically active. The last week in September marks the beginning of Active Aging Week (September 27 – October 3) for the United States, Canada and Australia. Each day is devoted to a specific healthy life habit: from walking to nutrition to social connection.

The importance of our lifestyle/behaviors, to overall health is now undeniable. It is thought that 70% of chronic disease is caused directly or indirectly by the poor lifestyle choices we make. Now we can seamlessly measure our daily behaviors through fitness trackers. Continue reading

Falls Prevention Day 2015: Will the real ______________, please stand up!

              National Falls Prevention Awareness Day ~ September 23, 2015

                                        “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls” 
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 Bernadette Keefe MD

 “One of every three older adults falls each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.” – Lawrence Z. Rubenstein MD, MPH Chair Geriatrics – U. of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

 Introduction

Tomorrow, September 23, 2015, the U.S. will celebrate the 8th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day. The announcement on the National Council for Aging (NCOA) Falls Prevention Day website reads:

“The 8th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) will be observed on September 23, 2015 – the first day of fall. The event seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall – related injuries among older adults. The 2015 theme is Take A Stand to Prevent Falls and the official twitter hashtag for this year’s event is #FPAD15 Continue reading

losing our marbles – the dementia epidemic

The marble saga continues! This shot was taken in our back yard. I must say the marble is a remarkably patient model...

I think my favorite part of this one is how the lines from the tall grass in the background seem to echo the swirls inside the marble.

By Bernadette Keefe MD

All of us have personally known or heard the familiar drill. Dad couldnʼt find his way home. Mom didnʼt recognize her best friend. More and more memory lapses are occurring. Thereʼs a kitchen mishap. Finally the trip to family doc with the dreaded questions: Is It Alzheimerʼs? Is It Dementia?

The answer is yes, and they have a lot of company.

4.5 Million in the US are currently living with Dementia. The estimated prevalence of dementia among persons older than 70 years in US was nearly 15% in 2010. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 13 Million people in the US living with dementia. There was hope that the incidence might be tapering off and even declining (from data comparing 1993 to 2002), however with the recent sharp increases in prevalence of diabetes and obesity over the past decade, it is feared that the numbers may rise precipitously.

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