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How gamification and social media can be used in healthcare

In this video Elia discusses various examples of gamification and their impact on healthcare.
OK. So far, we have seen how the research has investigated the games and the health. The good part of the games can have on health, and how games can harm health, as well. And the same with social media– the potential benefits and the potential harmful effects. Right now, I want to show you a project example which is called is a Norwegian web application focusing on sexual health and targeting youth., it means in Norwegian “check yourself,” and it’s a gamified educational web application which includes a game appointment system. And it includes social media for recruitment. Well, let’s look a look at is a gamification and social media project for STD prevention. It’s a Norwegian research project.
Norway is over here. And the reason of this project is this. Here, you can see the chlamydia rates in Norway in 2012. This is the map of Norway and different counties. In 2012, it was diagnosed more than 21,000 new cases in the country. We talk about– maybe it is not that impressive number, but we have to take into account that Norway is a big country but with not that many people living over here. So it’s about a 5 million inhabitants in our country. And if you have a look at the distribution of the chlamydia cases per county, here there is the counties from south to north. This is south, and this is north.
And we have here the average of rates of– incidence rates in Norway. We are talking about an average of 431 new cases per every 100,000 inhabitants. And in general, it’s not a rule, but we can see that there is a trend to see that the incidence rates are growing as we go North. And here, in the two north-most counties in the country we have almost twice of the Norwegian average.
And where we have the Chlamydia cases? Here, you can see the distribution of cases by gender and group age. You can see that here are the numbers. And young people, here is the gross. So 90% of positive tests in women belongs to girls, and 29 years old, and more than 79% of boys under 29 years old, as well. So with this information, what we did? We have an aim, which is to achieve that North Norwegian youngsters, especially from the two north counties called Troms and Finnmark became more aware of sexual transmitted diseases, especially Chlamydia, and prevent their spread. And how we did that? We used gamification and social media.
Why we choose games? As we have seen before, we know that games are a valuable resource to promote healthy behaviours for its potential to the users passionately and deliberately involved with their health. And we choose social media as well because it’s a very good way to promote sexual health among youngsters. And it’s a good way to reach a high number of population very quickly. Here, you can see the internet use in Norway for the last three months. Here you can see the frequency of use, every day. So it’s 93% of users from 16 to 20 years old. They use it almost every day. Aged from 25 to 34 as well.
And the main purpose of internet use, as you can see, is social networking. So what do we make with this? We made a game-style web application aiming to educate on sexual health and to promote behaviour change in Norwegian youngsters, the This is how it looks, It’s available for desktop, smart phones, and tablet computers.
It includes a virtual clinic for STDs. It’s accessible through different technological platforms, as we have seen before– laptop, smart phones, and tablets. It includes an avatar support intervention in a serious gaming and a learning environment. It has early guidance under label information on sexual health and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. It allows to share information on social media. And everything is in Norwegian.
Regarding the gamification techniques that has been used for, the project has game aesthetic. I will show you next. We use avatars that can be customised by the user. Also, the project is using achievement based gifts that unlock complements to customise the avatar by fulfilling different tasks. For example, when the user watch an amount of educational videos, it can get some different things to customise their avatar. After reading some lessons, after interacting with the doctor, et cetera. It also includes interactive game like functions to teach about sexually transmitted diseases and sexual health. And the user can interact with a virtual doctor and with a virtual teacher. So let’s have a look at these techniques.
Here, you can have a look at the game aesthetic. You can see, this looks like a game. This is the space for the user where the user can customise their own avatar and move around a cinema, where the user can watch educational videos. They are some short videos, about three, five minutes. There is a school, as well, where the user can read lessons and can interact with a virtual teacher. And we have a clinic over here, where the user can show to the virtual doctor potential symptoms and can get a guide diagnose.
And we also use avatars, which means privacy and anonymity, especially for this especially sensitive topic as sexual health. And we have to consider that we are targeting youth. So this is very sensitive. The avatars, as we said, it gives anonymity and freedom to users, and facilitating the access to sensitive information by protecting their identity. But avatars not only is about privacy and anonymity, it also represents an opportunity for changing the behaviour of users for its potential to serve as models. Here there is these publications from …… about the effect of the avatars on behaviour change.
But in the project, when the user links for the first time, we have the user can choose between four different avatars– a boy, a girl, an animal, and a condom. And every avatar can be customised. Here, you can see the condom, for example, can be customised– change colour, change mouth, eyes, the hairstyle decorations and everything. Regarding the interactivity, here you can have a look, an example of how interacts the avatar with a doctor. So for example, a doctor is asking if the avatar has been in contact with someone with chlamydia. And here, the avatar has different answers that the user can choose, and always protecting the privacy of the user.
Another example of interactivity among the project is with the teacher. So the teacher is here, presenting some lessons with text and images. And also, the avatar can interact with a teacher by asking different questions. The web application also comes with cinema, where the avatars can watch different educational videos, very short videos from three to five minutes. Where, for example, they can learn how to put a condom properly or what they have to do to ask for an appointment with a doctor.
And this was about the game, how we use gamification techniques on the project. Now, I want to show you how we are using the social media. So the social media is being used to promote the website to recruit users. We are using basically two channels– YouTube and Facebook. YouTube is being used to upload all the videos that we have in the cinema, and Facebook is being used with a Facebook fan page, which is called And also, we use a advertisement targeting the youth population from north from 13 to 25 years old. And we ask them to like the Facebook fan page of, and also to visit– we could ask them to visit the website.

In this video Elia discusses various examples of gamification and their impact on healthcare. She discusses a real-life example for how gaming has been used to improve sexual health among young people in Norway.

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Social Media in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges

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