Taren Grom, Editor
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The Games Companies Play Gamification is not necessarily new to the corporate world, but the technologies that are now available are elevating gaming methodologies to a new level. For those of us who grew up in the era of Pong and Atari home videogames, boy have we come a long way. Wii, which revolutionized home gaming — a innovative and great story on its own — and Xbox, PlayStation, etc., are graphically lifelike, entertaining, educational, and let’s face it addictive. According to some recent statistics, more than half a billion people worldwide play computer and videogames at least an hour a day —183 million of them in the United States; 47% of gamers are women; and by 2015, 40% of global organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations. With the gamfication industry sector expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 99% between now and 2016 to reach an expected value of $2.5 billion, it’s no wonder that corporate gaming isn’t child’s play. Although, gamifying within healthcare is still in its early days, EY analysts say as the industry moves forward games will need to deliver health benefits and integrate into care settings without disrupting trusted relationships with clinicians. Games are powerful motivators of human behavior, and game designers have a deep understanding of persuasive design. At a time when healthcare is focused on outcomes and seeking sustainability, the case for gamification has never been stronger. Game designers will learn from real-time data and evolve through rapid, small experiments — more like software-as-a-service or cloud computing rather than the classic model of design, deploy, and assess. More importantly, games have tremendous potential to influence human behaviors. As evidenced by the numbers, people enjoy playing games; they motivate us and give us feelings of accomplishment, purpose, and social connectivity. EY says several companies in the healthcare and games industries are actively exploring this potential. Health Games Research, a program backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is advancing research on how to use games to promote health. Games don’t have to be high-tech to work — employers have been successfully using team competitions based on the hit TV show The Biggest Loser to motivate their workers to lose weight. Nor is the potential to improve behavior limited to patients. At its Garfield Health Care Innovation Center in San Leandro, Kaiser Permanente is actively experimenting with games such as Dr. Hero (loosely patterned on Guitar Hero), which helps doctors and other medical personnel improve their skills and reduce errors. There are games to help heart patients deal with stress, dieters manage their diet, Parkinson’s syndrome patients improve their coordination — and much more to follow. I wonder what Ms. Pac-Man would have to say about this… The forum for the industry executive Publisher Lisa Banket Editor Taren Grom Creative Director Marah Walsh Managing EDitor Denise Myshko Senior EDitor Robin Robinson features EDitor Kim Ribbink design associate Ariel Medel national account managerS Trish Kane Cathy Tracy WEBCAST?NETWORK?PRODUCER Daniel Limbach CIRCULATION Assistant Kathy Deiuliis Copyright 2013 by PharmaLinx LLC, Titusville, NJ Printed in the U.S.A. Volume Thirteen, Number Two PharmaVoice (ISSN: 1932961X) is published monthly except joint issues in July/Aug. and Nov./Dec., by PharmaLinx LLC, P.O.?Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Periodicals postage paid at Titusville, NJ 08560 and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to PharmaVoice, P.O. Box 292345, Kettering, OH 45429-0345. PharmaVoice Coverage and Distribution: Domestic subscriptions are available at $190 for one year (10 issues). Foreign subscriptions: 10 issues US$360. 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Advertising in PharmaVoice: To advertise in PharmaVoice please contact our Advertising Department at P.O.?Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560, or telephone us at 609.730.0196. E-mail: email@example.com. Volume 13 • Number 2 Letters Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, title, company, and business phone number. Letters chosen for publication may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions become the property of PharmaLinx LLC. Their Word… Denise Myshko Managing Editor Adoption of the cloud in research is still young but has the potential to bring more efficient data management to the process. Robin Robinson Senior Editor Think gamification is silly? Think again. Gaming mechanisms can improve everything from scientific discovery to marketing messages. Kim Ribbink Features Editor As the largest market in the GCC, Saudi Arabia provides both demand and opportunity for the life-sciences industry. Coming in March 2013 Special Issue: Disruptive Innovation > Innovative Leadership > Open Innovation > Medical Innovation > Patient Power > Patient Adherence > Patient Access > Innovative Business Models > Showcase Feature — Medical Affairs