Your Health is One Big Game

Pew Internet & American Life announces that

“gamification has emerged as a way to describe interactive online design that plays on people’s competitive instincts and often incorporates the use of rewards to drive action”. “The use of game mechanics, feedback loops, and rewards will become more embedded in daily life by 2020”

What does this have to do with your health?

Good question!  One that game developers, researchers and healthcare providers have been working on for patient education and health marketing objectives.  The Games for Health Conference, the most expansive conference for videogames, health and healthcare will take place in Boston.

Games under development include:

  • physical therapy
  • health behavior modification
  • Biofeedback
  • Nutrition improvement
  • Health education
  • Exercise program

These games are all designed for not only education but also patient interaction with rewards for health compliance at www.health-canada-pharmacy.com including wellness and preventative care.  Gaming involving weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise or other habit improvements give risk rewards and engage prospective patients and community members.  Patients may utilize games to maintain proper medication protocols, weight reduction and blood pressure or blood sugar levels.  Points can then be redeemed.

Insurance companies have already been toying with risk-rewards of similar nature by awarding patients lower annual premiums for their health insurance or premium points that they can redeem for products and services of their choice when blood pressure, weight or blood sugar is kept under control.

According to JAMA (the Journal of the AMA):

“Games are a dominant form of media, even larger than the motion picture industry, and are enjoyed across gender, age and cultural boundaries.”

Because the majority of our American culture now reflects a love of web surfing, computer games and internet, this modality offers a great way to connect with patients and make healthcare fun.  If the reward of improved health itself  is not enough, then let’s make achieving health one big engaging, reward- filled game.

Everyone wins!

 

Health Games

Online games supply great captivating interactive experiences. Considering this,  games structured to stimulate health behavior modification can lead to significant improvement in health.

Leading the forefront of video and digital health games is Health Games Research, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio. The mission of Health Games Research, which is an 8.25 million dollar national program, is to advance health games and health game technology for the effectiveness of health improvement.

This program also collaborates to promote research publications, scientific leadership and advocacy. Recent studies demonstrate that  health games designed for behavioral health has not only had a powerful influence on outcomes like:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Medication adherence
  • Diabetes management
  • High Blood Pressure management
  • Improved eating patterns
  • Adherence to exercise programs
  • Enhanced physical activity

but also have growing possibilities for many more applications for health in this growing health game format.

Games can be designed to support healthy behavior modification, motivate patients to maintain treatments and promote healthy lifestyles.

Bring Your game on!

Connect with Your Connections

Okay, you have lots of connections in your LinkedIn page.  What are you doing with them?  Anything?  Just letting them languish?

Share content with your connections.  They will not only find it of value, but it is also a way of your connections to remember you. These updates can be differentiated into groups with specific interests, compatible with different aspects of your business. This is called segmenting your updates.

You can segment not only by interest but by geographical location of your linkedIn connections and also by the position they hold within their company.  Are they decision makers?  Are they managers or the director?  The conversation will differ depending on who they are.

By segmenting your updates to your “target audience”, you are keeping them as your audience- interested people within your connections.

Have you been connecting with those who are linked to you?

Teleseminars on Health

Perhaps you are new to giving teleseminars and you are unsure as to a topic that would be appealing.

Maybe the thought of talking for any length of time is daunting at first.

A great way to combat this fear is to do an interview.  Think of the most common questions that patients or the public have asked or voiced concerns about over the last few months.  Interview a well-known authority or celebrity in your field.  Ask the planned questions and wait for a response.  It is one of the easiest ways to get material without having to “go it alone”.

Think of a series- a disease of the month.  Highlight a particular medical condition that you treat and inform participants of the latest information and the latest treatments for this condition.  Discuss the treatment options that you offer in your practice and the benefits or risks of each one.

Offer a welcome teleseminar for new patients or clients.  Discuss what is offered in the practice, how patients can reach you, the facilities that you are associated with and who the coverage is when you are not around.  Mention the health insurance plans that you participate in and it becomes a great information welcoming package, one that puts a new patient at ease.

Explain how to evaluate websites and what makes information online credible so that your patients seeking further information can find it more trustworthy.  Let them know that you are open to discuss the information that they have gleaned.  Be a translator of healthcare information.  Your patients will appreciate this.

Form forums on your website with teleseminars discussing chronic problems and offer to be support for caregivers of these medical issues.

Teach biofeedback or stress-relief techniques so that patients can be more comfortable or at ease with their problems.

The main benefit of the teleseminars that you can offer is that you are representing yourself as the authority that you are and that you are easily approachable to your present and future patients.  This will set you apart from your competition and make you the healthcare provider that patients and community members seek.

 

 

Perfect Landing Page for the Health Market in Only 5 Steps

Whether you are a health writer, medical marketer or in any other niche, the page on your website that everyone visits can be a big yawn- one that turns people away. Ask yourself, if this is the case, why bother having one?

So, how do you get people to be enticed?  How do you convert leads to users of your services and goods?

Check to see if you have these steps on your site:

  1. Call to action- what is it that you want your readers to do?  Make it obvious, clear and easy. If you don’t let them know (whether it is to sign up for a newsletter or purchase a product or service), then the lead does nothing.
  2. Attention-Grabbing Headlines will keep your reader enticed long enough to see what it is that you are trying to convey. (if you are not sure about how to do this, check out the covers of magazines in the supermarket lines.  These publications have the headline skill done well
  3. Have a way to capture your reader- have a sign up form to get a name and email for future use and to add to your data base.
  4. Show that you are credible- now is not the time for modesty.  Here is where you put your testimonials.  Putting them in a sidebar keeps them easily seen without taking up space from the remainder of the page.
  5. Make sure that your contact information is easily seen.  Place your telephone number in large font at the top of your site, typically on the right so that people who want to contact you can do so easily without getting discouraged and surfing away

Of course, simplifying the page so that there is white space, will allow your reader’s eye to migrate to the information that you would like the lead to see.  Don’t clutter up the page.

Now is the time for you to evaluate your site and improve on your landing page…and if you don’t have one, get going!

 

Yes, You Can Get New Patients and Health Writing Clients from Social Media

Rather than writing about problems for specific patients which runs the risk of security breaches, you can use various networks in social media to develop relationships that lead to new business and help educate old and prospective patients.

Figure out what your patients or health clients need, what the problems are and provide solutions to them.  Tip sheets, how-to guides and “diseases of the week” are popular with a large segment.  You can also amass the ten most asked questions and develop an FAQ sheet that addresses the problems.

Providing solutions helps establish or strengthen relationships as they look to you, the authority, to help provide the answers that they seek.  In exchange, they will seek you out for the services that you provide.

Run surveys and ask your clients what they need and use the social channels with your connections to form additional relationships, based on trust.

Keep in mind that social media is not to simply advertise yourself or push your products.  This is an immediate disconnect.  Rather be helpful and the interest in you will be a more subtle approach. Think of yourself as part of a community and ask yourself, how can I help and how can I contribute.

Putting out great content and interactions with others is sure to win them over to you.  When people ask questions, jump in with a solution.  Your unique point of view will get people attracted to you.

What success have you had with Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook?

 

Are You Paying For My Healthcare?

We have recently been told by the Supreme Court that the mandate to purchase health insurance will stand and that failure to do so will lead to fines in an amount that has yet to be determined.  These fines however, have been labeled (or justified) as a tax, not a penalty.

Taxing individuals as an incentive to take action or to help support a system for “the greater good” is an example of income redistribution.  Simply put, income redistribution is created to transfer income from the wealthier to the less financially secure directly or indirectly.

Those who favor income redistribution argue that it helps foster a more equal society and addresses social problems linked to poverty.  Those against the plan feel that it is tantamount to theft, taking away hard-earned, saved income obtained through hard work and ingenuity to those who may not or could not earn the same income.

When government regulation is implemented to redistribute incomes for a fairer or nobler purpose, inevitably those taxed develop impaired incentives. Businesses seek to find ways to avoid paying. Special incentives like tax credits are established while unions and employees negotiate for health insurance  which acts as a substitute for raises, further distorting economic relationships, lowering the national income and lowering the per-capita income metric.

A real issue here is the resentment that builds with those who are running the businesses and creating a negative incentive effect on wage earners and tax payers.

Anecdotally, redistribution does nothing positive. Low-income beneficiaries view the distributions as an entitlement or “right” and  act of welfare. Rather than a feeling of gratitude, it is viewed as society’s responsibility.

Most economists agree that income redistribution decreases work and innovation. So while there may be more equity in the system as a whole with redistribution, there is a general decline in overall income.

Society must face the complex question of equity with declines in income levels  or a policy which encourages income growth as a likely result. The proposed tax increases and increased demand on tax increases, may create a highly volatile  inflationary alternative.

When people loose incentives and the initiative to think and act independently but rather let someone else tell them what do do or how to live for getting their basic needs met, the groundwork is established for a dictatorship.  Everyone is equal (except for those in power of course)

Are we heading down this road?

Freedom Must Be Saved and Treasured

Today’s guest blogger is Rebecca Brittingham. Happy July 4th, everyone. Let freedom ring!

Barbeques, fireworks, pool parties, and parades will be itching their way into most American homes. Children, parents and grandparents will proudly wear the colors red, white and blue, while the American flag will wave valiantly across the country. Favorite traditional patriotic songs — “The Star Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America”, and “Yankee Doodle Dandy”— will be ringing in the streets, on the radio and the television. This week, the night sky will be painted colorfully with crackling flames sending chills down one’s spine. July 4, Independence Day is upon us.

Festivities, leading up to Independence Day, have already begun. Americans line their yards with the American Flag while churches, and various dance troupes prepare patriotic programs honoring military men and women. Today, Americans enjoy freedoms that many other countries do not. Americans choose to wake up and go to work, where to drive and what to eat. Americans have a right to purchase groceries at the market of their choice and choose their transportation.

While other countries would silence their citizens for speaking out against injustice, American citizens are encouraged to fight for justice. They have a right to vote, go to court, sign petitions and speak out against injustice. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, has been a haven and refuge for immigrants. America was birthed out of a desire to preserve one’s rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” guaranteed by the Constitution.

Freedom is like the forming of pearl in a mollusk. Years after particles of sand enter into a mollusk, the constant rubbing and pressure transforms the sand into a beautiful priceless gem. The longer the pearl undergoes the treatment, the larger and more valuable the pearl becomes. Similarly, Freedom is a right, a privilege and a jewel that should never be taken for granted.

It is easy to forget the price that was paid to ensure freedom in America. However, freedom is a gift that comes with a price. It must be defended and fought for in order to preserve it. Ronald Reagan once said,, “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and lost it, have never known it again.”

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Stay safe!