Entries in health and wellness gamification (1)
"I do not want to disengage with my life to engage with my health…you want me, find a way to weave it into my life.“ ~ Quote from 2010 Health 2.0 Conference
As I viewed an in-depth demo of Aetna’s new social solution, I immediately noticed the unique approach they are taking with the Mindbloom platform.
Mindbloom uses a tree metaphor to represent the different areas or branches of a person’s life. Let me share my thinking as I envision “My Tree”.
I am empowered to design my tree with branches that are important to me; health, relationships, lifestyle, leisure, finances, spirituality, creativity and career.
As I identify and complete an action of my choice, a new green leaf appears on the related branch. For my health, I may decide to add my own action to “complete my dance class this week”. When I overlook an area of my life, over time my leaves turn brown on that branch.
There are other trees from friends and family that I have invited to join my forest. I control what each of them sees. My closest friends and family view each leaf and can comment to acknowledge my accomplishments and support me when there are setbacks.
As I grow my tree, I strive for balance. I begin with a few branches and get them strong before adding others. In time, I envision having a vibrant tree.
When completing actions, I receive rewards that unlock new features including the option to select a new forest background or the ability to upload my own photos for inspiration.
Through my mobile phone, I can update my actions, journal my progress, view my friends' progress and send messages for encouragement. This lets me “grow on the go”. Beyond the existing mobile web capabilities, Mindbloom will be launching a much more robust native iPhone application in the fall timeframe.
“People will not track every day” explains Kyra Bobinet, Medical Director eHealth & Wellness at Aetna. “This tool is a repository where they will come in and out. We will give consumers reasons and stimuli to continue their journey for a healthy balance”.
Elements of Engagement
Although I have seen many health related games, this one is customized, comprehensive and compelling.
Here are five elements to drive consumer engagement:
1) Personal. My tree looks different than yours. It has specific branches and leaves that are important to me.
2) Holistic. I extend my tree with branches from different aspects of my life beyond health. In fact, the growth of one branch influences another. When my health branch is under stress, my relationship branch is impacted.
3) Social. My forest has trees representing my friends and family. We are all there to support and strengthen each other. This forest is changing all the time and I am drawn back to take a look.
4) Rewarding. As I reach new milestones or succeed in maintaining a healthy balance, I am rewarded in many ways. In addition to feeling better, I receive points as well as recognition through my private forest and public social communities (e.g. Facebook). And I am also rewarded seeing my “Tree Summary” displaying my accomplishments.
5) Fun. Like any interactive game that keeps my attention, this one is full of surprises. My points take me to new levels which reveal new opportunities for growth.
Engagement By Design
Before designing this solution, Aetna conducted extensive research with consumers. They learned that consumers want Aetna to make it “more fun”, “easier” and “rewarding”.
I am most interested in seeing how engagement grows and which segments of consumers are motivated to develop and nurture a balanced tree of life.
Disclosure: I worked with the Aetna team on concepts before the Mindbloom partnership.