What's Your Digital iQ

Putting technology and trends to work for healthcare marketing

How the Kinect could Retain Patient Motor Skills


Our first experiment Circuit, created by iQ back in June of 2010, was developed to make everyday interactions better. Because 15 minutes in the exam room is never enough time to treat and manage a chronic illness, physicians need to understand the patient’s daily journey. Circuit helped with this by utilizing the iPad’s accelerometer to do simple range of motion tests like moving a ball over a mountain to test relative dexterity. Tests like this, would be uploaded to a detailed dashboard that patients can view, share with their physician, or append to their electronic medical record.

Since developing Circuit, we’ve been following health related apps and games to see how we could enhance Circuit. Today we’re most interested in Microsoft’s Kinect PlayFit, a new dashboard that tracks fitness activity on the Xbox. Kinect PlayFit’s aggregation of data from games like Dance Central 2, Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, Kinect Star Wars, and others is used to provide personal fitness stats. This service allows players to earn achievements, gamerscores, and avatar awards.

As we looked into the Kinect PlayFit, we we’re excited to see their use of stats like calories burned and daily streak. We quickly started to see how these stats could be applied and modified to manage chronic illness. For instance, say a patient’s disease state affects their flexibility, the Kinect could be used to record their flexibility baseline. Each day, patients could try to match or beat this baseline in a game. During game play, data could be captured showing the retention or improvement of their flexibility over time. Achievements could be awarded for retention, improvement, and daily streaks. Buddy scores could be shown to motivate patients to retain or improve their flexibility.

So we asked, why can’t brands create their own Kinect game to help patients retain and even improve motor skills affected by their disease state?

Our latest prototype Circuit 2.0 contains our thoughts on how brands could do just that.


Why Gaming Will Solve All Our Problems | World Innovation Forum

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Jane McGonigal is a world-renowned designer of alternative reality games, developing award-winning games and secret missions that challenge players to tackle real-world problems. She’s considered one of the Top 100 Creative People in Business by Fast Company and is the author of Reality is Broke, which is a New York Times bestseller.

Jane’s love for games is inherent, but some of her love may have also come from the fact that she believes games saved her life. After being diagnosised with a concussion that just wouldn’t heal, she invented SuperBetter, an online game that utilizes game mechanics to help people build resilience and reach health and wellness goals of their own – everything from losing weight, stopping that nasty smoking habit, or even recovering from a major surgery or injury.

At the core of these game mechanics is the reaction and emotion that gamers experience when playing. Below are 10 positive emotions gamers feel when they play games. And this isn’t subjective either. Game developers spend countless hours and money to study gamers in a controlled lab setting to understand why people play games and what attracts them to different types of games.

  1. Joy
  2. Relief
  3. Love
  4. Surprise
  5. Pride
  6. Curiosity
  7. Excitement
  8. Awe & Wonder
  9. Contentment
  10. Creativity

When developing strategies for the healthcare and pharma brands, how often are one (or more) of the words above mentioned during our planning? Often, right? Managing health conditions is not all that fun, but we want people to understand that they can still experience those positive emotions above. Research shows that games may be one way we can help people manage their health.

  • People with autism who are also gamers show increased social intelligence
  • Gamers who suffer from ADHD showed improvement in accomplishment of both short- and long-term goals
  • Army veterans who game 2-3 hours a day showed less long-term psychological conditions associated with combat.

HopeLab’s Remission

The popular game from HopeLab, Remission, has been well-documented. In research of the children with cancer that played Remission 2-3 hours per day, there were 2 apparent impacts:

  • Behavorial impact: better chemotherapy adherence
  • Psychological impact: Higher rates of self-efficacy

Those results prompted researchers to go deeper on the science behind the performance. Players who were playing the game, researchers saw that the brain’s reward centers significantly fired up during gameplay. More interesting, though, was that it was the little rewards that caused this excitement. These brain center actually fired up during time between completing a task and waiting for reward. It wasn’t the reward, but it was the accomplishment of a specific tasks that excited them.

For the most spectacular collection of links to great research and articles about gaming and it’s impact on our behaviors, check out Show Me the Science! Resilience, games, post-traumatic growth, and more on the SuperBetter blog.


Highlights from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 E3 briefing


Yesterday, kicked off the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world’s premier trade show for computer and video games and related products. The first event was XBox 360′s press conference which showcased highly anticipated games such as Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the tantalizing first look at Halo 4.

But Microsoft’s real news was around their Kinect, the voice-and-motion controlled gizmo that first arrived for the Xbox 360 last year. Read Full Entry


Questioning and modifying technology leads to innovation


When our Innovation Engineer Jude Divierte (@KnightDiver) walked into the lab wearing an iPad stylus around his neck I first poked fun at his fashion faux pas. After I exhausted all my nerd and pocket protector jokes, Jude was kind enough to show me why he prefers using his stylus. He first described how taking notes on his iPad using the default app Notes wasn’t ideal for him. He then showed me his preferred app Penultimate, a handwriting app that allows users to take notes, keep sketches and share ideas. He showed how he could use his finger; however, his stylus is actually easier, faster and more precise than the intended use.

This is just one example of how users are questioning technology and modifying it to fit their needs. It’s questioning like this that spark the innovative thinking needed to build better products and experiences.

Below are a few similar modifications that may fit your needs and/or spark your innovative thinking: Read Full Entry


Healthcare marketing trends: Three potential game changers we’re watching


My smart colleagues from around the industry pack my RSS reader with hundreds of trends and insights every week. Of everything we’re talking and tweeting about right now, three things stand out to me as potential game changers in how we market to healthcare providers and people like us:

Apple dominates physician mobile views: iQ is often asked for research about what kind of smart phones docs are carrying – Blackberry? Android? Apple? Our client teams want to know what platforms to invest in (for native apps, text messaging formats, etc.) Maybe we were asking the wrong question. It may not matter what phone they’re carrying if they’re not using it to access mobile content. Bulletin Healthcare delivers daily email briefings to more than 550,000 healthcare providers, including more than 400,000 physicians (all opt in subscribers). They recently released some data about how those HCPs use mobile to access their content. The big news: 90% of mobile opens of their briefings occur on iPhone and iPad. Android got 6%. And, Blackberry/RIM barely registered. The analysis also showed that mobile consumption of medical news climbed by 45% between June and February. The result is that almost three in 10 healthcare professionals now access the daily medical information contained in their briefings on mobile platforms, while seven in 10 continue to use traditional desktop platforms. Read more Read Full Entry


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