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Merck turns to gamification in diabetes

Working with Ayogo on mobile app to improve adherence
gamification

Merck & Co is working on a new mobile app for type 2 diabetes patients to help them keep taking their medicines as prescribed.

The pharma company is collaborating on the Type 2 Travelers Project with behavioural change gaming firm Ayogo and the game was showcased at the mHealth Summit held near Washington, DC earlier this month.

It involves uses picking an avatar and playing a series of games – the gold coins they can win help them travel around the world – all with the ultimate aim of improving patient adherence.

Still in the beta-testing stage, the Type 2 Travelers Project has been through two pilots with academic partners and a third is currently ongoing.

Once released it will also include an online patient community, something the companies behind it hope will ease the depression that often accompanies diabetes and assist patients in self-managing their condition.

“Our goal is to help diabetics get their condition under control. Users feel like they are getting gold for having fun but really they get it for engagement,” Ayogo CEO Michael Fergusson said.

His company has already worked with the likes of Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Novartis, and in October its Monster Manor mobile game collaboration with Sanofi was released on the iTunes Store and Google Play.

Another diabetes game, Monster Manor has a built-in tracker that provides positive feedback the more regularly players test and log their blood glucose levels.

In addition to diabetes, oncology is also seeing its share of gamification at the moment and efforts in that therapy area include a mobile biomedical data game and a Facebook game to raise awareness of prevention messages.

19th December 2013

From: Marketing

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