Gamification Concept Used To Quickly Improve Patients’ Blood Pressure

April Flowers | Red Orbit | May 21, 2014

This week, Merriam-Webster released a list of new words being added to the dictionary, including gamification: the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users. What could gamification have to do with medical education, though?

A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System has employed the concept of gamification in the education of clinicians treating hypertension, with positive results.

The blood pressure control of patients seeing doctors and nurses participating in an online, competitive game to solve hypertension cases improved in a shorter amount of time than patients of non-gaming care providers. The study findings were published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

“This study is the first to show that an online educational game among medical professionals can improve the health measures of their patients,” said Alexander Turchin, MD, MS, director of Informatics Research, BWH Division of Endocrinology...