How to gamify the digital pharmacy experience - Case Study

To the Gamify and Beyond.

Sometimes companies see themselves as not able to move and change. One of the industries that are typically hard to wrap a mind into creating a new experiences for their customers is Pharmaceutical.

Having a client willing to do so was strategically important so we can showcase examples of good practice. Here is one.

I About the Game

The gamified app that help players live a healthier, more fulfilling life.

How it works: To accomplish this goal, this gamified app is a game where players design their “Galactic Win Board” and go on quests to accomplish their own goals which in its own core have suggested objectives (Improve health literacy; Improve medication adherence; and, Develop familiarity with the app through frequent use). Players design their quests, team up with allies, identify “bad guys” or actions that are counterproductive, and create power-ups throughout their journey in real life.

Why it works:

Create a game that is linked to every single move in the app. The existing app should be cross-linked to three principles of the game:

1.Usefulness - every usage and click is reworded through points. Points are used to:

* buy anything in the app

* have discounts on purchases

* be invited to special events: wellness and spa days, yoga classes or big prize retreat travels

2.Motivation - the goal of every game is to win. This new gamified app utilizes player stats to motivate players to take action and accomplish their goals. Players can create their own quests to move towards accomplishing their ''Galactic Win Board''. Gamification attempts to affect motivation rather than directly changing the attitude and behaviors of a “player”.

3. Social Influence and Relatedness: Users can add friends as Allies in the game, and Allies can add Quests to users Quest Board. For example, Carol's friend knows that she is trying to recover from a cold. She creates a Quest on her board to Conquer Cold Mountain by taking 3 hours nap, taking tea 3 times a day and taking cold medication 2 times a day, knowing that this will help her recover from her cold.


This way of gamified experience focuses on millennials (as the most active facilitators of non-formal education) and millennial workers (who are interested in adding to formal education without demanding special diplomas or certificates for it). A millennial is very dynamic and more likely will change their behavior than older. Therefore, using the motivational, engaging, and empowering facilities of gamification is of high importance when it comes to aiming for positive medication adherence.

However, ‘motivation’ seems too broad to refer to everyone equally. There are several types of “players” whose behaviors can be explained by their motives:

• Players who are goal-oriented are more likely to be motivated if gamification emphasizes achievement, success, and progress;

• Players who are driven by the sense of power are more likely motivated by status, control, and competition;

• Players who regard highly the sense of affiliation are more like to be motivated by membership and belonging.

Hence, having all three aspects maximizes the impact of the gamified app and usage.

Achievement, success, and progress; - Immediate feedback impacts the motivation of the player if sent in the form of positive or negative reinforcement, e.g. providing rewards for positive accomplishments in the form of points and passing levels of knowledge (popup quizzes). The stated goal also has an important role in the perception of gamification and the motivation to go through with it. First of all, the goal should be clearly defined and achievable. The player needs to understand the importance of their actions leading towards the goal and the consequent achievement. Another reason why the player is interested in using gamification is the need to improve knowledge while having the opportunity to use gaming techniques adapted to the level of their individual knowledge and gradually improving them. This is why is used certification of knowledge. Corresponding with the need for social interactions, influences, recognition, and relatedness is an integral part of human motivation. Social influence refers to an individual’s perception of how important others are, and what they expect from the player. This influence is also feedback, given by other players, for instance, in the form of “likes” or comments, and it can positively affect the perception of recognition. The more an individual feels supported and recognized by other players, the better they feel in conforming to the expectations of others. Receiving recognition creates a positive attitude towards gamification, considering it a reciprocal benefit for the community. This creates a will to continue using the system and to recommend it to others, as do positive feelings like sympathy and pleasure.

Competition - can be used as an additional driver in acquiring new information or skills, for participants already familiar with each other or else to make unknown participants familiar. Competition ensures social interaction and indirect encouragement to act similarly, giving them the chance to prove themselves. The goal of the competition should be clearly set and the reward system (symbolic rewards for achievements) defined, mentioning that winning or losing is very low in importance, but that learning and integration have the key role.

Gamification has an integrational function, to create a sense of community. Cooperation of players adds to the learning process via discussions and additional responsibilities to work towards a common goal. The more individuals work together, the more they are able to achieve. Besides, gamification in a group can be fun and less stressful. Gamification, in general, is the combination of motivational mechanisms linked to game elements, providing individuals with the power to act more efficiently and develop new competencies by more attractive methods. These methods are meant to create empathy and motivation from game-like activities and transfer knowledge to real-life contexts.


Basic game elements and their functions

Quests - Little tasks that have to accomplish within the game - Quests provide clear goals, highlight the

consequences of a goal and emphasize the importance of a player’s action within a given situation.

Have learners play in short bursts - Mobile games that are popular with consumers, such as Clash of Clans and FarmVille, are designed to be played in just a few minutes at a time. This usage pattern is ideal for increasing knowledge retention: we learn and remember more when training sessions are spaced out into small chunks over time. Games that only require a few minutes of playtime yet encourage repeat play are best for helping learners remember.

List of quests:

* solve a quick quiz

* find a missing link

* give your avatar a dose of medications

* answer 1 quick multiple choice question

* do a crossword

* make a game of shopping - shop for right answers with points if the user doesn't know the answers

* shooting games - shoots the illness factors

* memory game of revealing the cards and guessing the pairs

* creating of individual quests on avatars Quest Board

Answers are about avatars' conditions and ways to improve them.

Points - Rewards accumulated for certain activities within the game - Points function as immediate positive reinforcement that takes the form of mostly virtual rewards, provided for executed actions.

Examples of mechanics:

  • Watch this video and get 10 points

  • Answer this survey and get expert level

  • Complete this form and unlock this badge

  • Buy something to complete this mission

  • Read content and answer quiz in less than 15 minutes

  • Recommend something and get this prize

Points are rewarded for:

  • Tasks accomplished within the app:

  • Prescription refill and renewal enrollment options, as well as un-enrollment;

  • Requests if the user no longer has eligible refills;

  • Obtaining information for past or current claims;

  • Reading alerts;

  • Acting on alerts

  • Every order

  • Finding/checking-in in pharmacies

  • Comparing prices of medication and drug costs

  • Contacting the company

  • Connecting your social profiles

  • Sharing and creating a bigger network:

  • Sharing Thought of the day

  • Sharing Progress and Level in the game

  • Sharing Acquired Certificate

  • Sharing belonging to the groups of influencers inside of the app

  • Taking a photo of a medication label can be used to refill a prescription (like Tab app)

  • Sharing accomplished quest

  • Sharing your improved health scorecard

  • Sharing your picture before and after conquering some health condition

  • Accomplishing quests for every item on the list of quests

  • Whenever the user knows the answer he gets points.

  • The answers can also be bought for a smaller number of points than the reward points. The goal is to pass to the next level.

  • Accomplish/conquer Levels

  • Contributing to the community

  • For every comment that someone likes. More likes more points.

  • Inviting more members to the community

  • Creating groups

Badges - Visual representations of achievements that can be collected within the game- Badges display the player’s success in the form of virtual status symbols and therefore motivate the player. Badges denote group identification by communicating shared experiences and activities, thus enhancing the feeling of affiliation. Badges also represent a goal-oriented function and the player’s competence.

  • Expert

  • Guru

  • Mage

Progress bars- Feedback on the player’s current progress towards the goal.

The game should provide Circles of knowledge that are linked to the account and easily seen on every login. When clicked on ''Circle of knowledge'' there should be a simple list of ways how to achieve the next circle.

Performance graphs - Feedback on the player’s performance in comparison to their previous performances

Both progress bars and performance graphs provide feedback. Progress bars depict distance from the goal; performance graphs compare the players’ performance to previous performances, thus noting improvements and fostering a motivation to achieve mastery.

Leaderboards - A list of top 10% of players, ranked by their success. Individual leaderboards foster a sense of competition and motivate achievement. The players who top the leaderboard may feel especially competent, while those at the bottom may feel demotivated, so implement only motivating factor. Leaderboards should also provide a team-score that fosters a feeling of social relatedness among the team members since such leaderboards emphasize the collaboration needed for shared goals.

Meaningful stories - The storyline the player lives through within the game. It is the Quest for Health and Wellbeing. By offering a variety of individual meaningful stories, feeling of autonomy can arise. For example Quest for Competing with your friend in a marathon; Quest for Creating Life without Disease. An inspiring character can increase positive feelings. Stories should match the player’s interests and spark attention to context.

Avatars - Visual representations that the player can choose to associate themselves with. Avatars can be created through choosing in advance created ones or created using points to add certain features or even levels, for example, the cape can only obtain avatars that are Mage, etc.

Profile development - Development of the avatar and its attitudes.

The option to choose from various avatars can foster a feeling of autonomy. Positive feelings and emotional bonds can arise by providing many avatars.

Additional game elements and their functions in a game

Levels - A section (part) of a game, which requires the player to meet specific goals or perform specific tasks in order to advance to the next consecutive section of the game. To reach the next level, players are guided by smaller goals and a sense of competition with other players. While advancing levels, players are motivated by the sense of accomplishment and the desire for more challenging tasks. The advancement of the player is identified by the level reached in the specific game.

There should be at least 7 Levels in the Circle of Knowledge:

  • Torchbearer

  • Mighty Professor

  • Creator

  • Shaman

  • Eagle Viewer

  • Ambassador

  • Galactic Overachiever - being the highest level

Reminders - Notifications to remind the player to do an action. By reminding the actions that need to be done to succeed, interest and momentum is maintained. It stimulates learning within the game.

Communication - Social interactions between players within the gaming environment. Chatting, passing signals, challenging others, sharing advice, discussing issues in the game, and exchanging other information leads to a community of members who support and challenge each other. It fosters positive reinforcement, helps in making friends, and boosts the self-esteem and social value of the player.

Collaboration - Teamwork in a cooperative game, where competition between teams takes place. The social aspect of the game and a shared goal develops a sense of belonging, peer pressure, connections, loyalty, and deeper involvement.

Incorporate external resources into the game - Creating learning fun is not make everything about memory but rather to help them find and locate the correct information. In these cases, linking to external resources such as pictures, infographics or videos or online tools from within the game itself can be highly useful.

Through utilizing all these parts of gamified app design ad functions users/players are motivated to:

* achieve a higher level of knowledge about served information inside the app about their health as well as improve theirs - they are getting points and achieving higher levels.

* to use as many functions inside the app because that gives them points to use in their quest and puts them higher on the leaderboard - thus developing familiarity with the app through frequent use.

* they can have real-world usage through discounts, invites to events and improvement with their help, thus improving medication adherence.

II Improving user understanding and completing the baseline features

Baseline features are incorporated in the whole point scoring system. For every action inside the app, users are getting points so they are motivated to use the app as much as possible and reasonable. The whole app is the game and every move counts. By rewarding higher points to actions with higher relevance those actions will have more repetitions.

III Other features for users to improve their condition and health

Users are posting their Quests on the Board of Quests. Users are motivated to make as much as possible of the quest to improve their health and conditions and for that, they get points, badges, achieve levels and they utilize friend's help in doing so. Above all that the whole community can cheer them on in their health quest providing them with an additional motivational boost to achieve their Quest/Improve their Health or Condition. In case of sensitive Conditions or Wishes for Privacy, Users can Use Metaphorical Quests to stay ahead of their condition and use all the resources app gives them.

IV Useful and interesting examples of app gamification

TEDEd – the gamified educational app to create actionable video lessons. TEDEd creates amazing, fun, entertaining educational videos for all ages to enjoy. In addition to their videos, they’ve created a web app that allows users to create video lessons that are actionable. Choose a video, add a description, add a quiz (multiple choice or open-ended), and prompt some discussion.

Khan Academy – a gamified educational app to learn anything for free, forever. Khan Academy is an educational platform where students can learn math, science, computer programming, history, and more. What makes Khan Academy standout is their mission: they aim to provide this education to everyone around the world (currently in 36 languages) completely for free forever.

Beeminder – gamified productivity app that puts your money on the line.

How it works: Set a goal.

Did you complete your goal?

Yes: great, keep it up!

No: we take your money

Bounty Tasker – gamified productivity app for to-do lists. At its core, Bounty Tasker is a to-do list, but what really sets it apart is its Gamification elements. As a player, you get to choose and customize your character and assign yourself tasks that give you experience upon completion. As you gain experience, you level up and earn items to outfit your character.

*Taking a photo of a medication label that can be used to refill a prescription

The best mobile scanning and OCR apps have a default automatic scanning function that puts the text in focus and accurately detects the edges of documents. Whatever you put in front of your phone's camera, the app scans without you having to tap a button. While not tapping a button may sound trivial, it allows your hands to hold the camera steady, resulting in a sharper image. Therefore, auto-scan is a highly desirable feature.

Best apps:

FineScanner Pro

Scanbot Pro

Scanner for Me + OCR

Scanner Pro

Secondly, the desired feature is also listing the benefits Example of recognizing parts of the bill and splinting the bill with it. This technology can be used and adapted to be inside of the gamified pharmacy app to recognize the medication labels and refill the prescription. app.

Enjoy creating your new and improved experience in your Industry and your Company.

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