Gamification in Healthcare: Turn Patients into Virtual Doctors

If you try to keep up with today’s technology lingo, then there is one word you need to add to your vocabulary – “gamification.” What is it? As defined by Gamification Wiki, “Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game application to make them more fun and engaging.” One doesn’t often think of complicated surgery as synonymous with games, but in fact, the concept behind gamification couldn’t be more appropriate in the medical world.

Surgical procedures and medical terminology are typically unfamiliar concepts to a novice. If said novice were to be diagnosed with a disease that requires surgical intervention, it can be an overwhelming and scary task as he/she prepares to enter the operating room. Learning about what to expect before, during, and after surgery from textual explanations is certainly helpful. However, it is a passive approach that some find daunting and eventually they give up trying to understand the complexities that are involved, and instead pray to the higher power they believe in that everything will turn out ok. Not to say that faith isn’t important, but there are options available that can provide people with educational support and engage them in fun and interesting ways.

Online or on a mobile device, medical games can be developed for just about any topic or platform. Listed below are some examples of medical games that can be designed for patients and played on a home office computer or through a mobile application on the go.

Virtual Medical/Doctor Games: Imagine a game where patients become a surgeon and take on each step of a rhinoplasty procedure, using the tools of the trade to remove an unwanted bump from a fictional patient’s nose. The target audience for this game would be patients who are considering rhinoplasty as a treatment option or patients who are scheduled to undergo the procedure in the coming weeks/months. Using a variety of interactive controls, patients can make incisions, sculpt bones, extract material, and suture wounds all with a click of their mouse or with touch navigation on a mobile device.

Medical Games for Kids: Picture a game that helps parents of children with learning impairments, such as autism, with developmental milestones like potty training. Toddlers (with the help of their parents), can build and name their very own avatar and perform the successful steps of going to the bathroom. A similar game could be developed to help kids learn how to brush their teeth, how often, and why proper dental care is important to overall health. Kid’s medical games make learning fun!

Medical Terminology Games: “Laminoplasty,” “cryoablation,” “fenestration” – medical terminology is complicated; there’s no question about it. However, online games can help you improve your understanding of medical terminology and of doctor’s jargon. Answer multiple choice questions, match definitions with prefixes, or find words in a crossword puzzle: any number of medical terminology games can be developed to improve the comprehension of what can be considered a foreign language. These games can help medical students review for tests, help transcriptionists with medical terminology, and help patients understand the terms doctors use.

DDA Medical has extensive experience conceptualizing, developing, and executing a vast array of online eLearning games and simulations, as well as games for mobile applications. Find out how you can engage users like never before with medical games; contact us at 215-355-6442 or