Undertaking the Medication Nonadherence Problem with Rewards and Incentives
According to a review conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine, medication nonadherence causes nearly 125,000 deaths, 10% of hospitalizations and between $100 and $289 billion in medical over-spending annually. To combat this, firms such as Humana and Mango Health are providing innovative solutions through gamification.
Recent Humana Pharmacy app updates and feature enhancements as well as the newer Humana RxMentor and Apple Watch apps provide users with resources to improve their health outcomes, beginning with adherence. Specifically, the apps’ gamification feature allows users to participate in challenges and earn badges for completing healthy habits like taking pills on time or setting reminders—an innovative industry standard.
By applying mobile game design, Mango Health is also dedicated to combating medication nonadherence issues through its app, which users tend to open compulsively and view as a competition. And while we have seen more firms like Mango Health apply this gamification strategy of points for medication adherence that translate to real-world uses and rewards including gift cards and donations, health insurers have been slower adopters. Outside of gamification, these two firms provide mobile resources to help users keep track of and manage their medicines by letting them keep a digital list of their medications and allergies, make notes on how to take medications, order refills, set up medication reminders, find status updates when medicines are running low and watch educational videos on the interactions and side effects.
Mango Health App
Beyond medication adherence, however, with other advancements in wearable technology and rewards programs, health plans are taking the gamification approach of challenges and incentives to address the physical and mental health and wellness of their members. A report by Global Market Insights, Inc., predicts the healthcare gamification market to reach $40 billion by 2024. And while true engagement and success rate numbers remain unclear, digital-savvy firms will continue to invest in consumer-focused, game-like approaches to combat healthcare’s most challenging and costly issues.