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With this article we want to give you a first insight into possible gamification applications in healthcare.

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Gamification refers to the application of game-typical elements in a non-game context. It can be used in a wide variety of areas, for example in the entertainment industry or in education. For more information, see the article "What is gamification".

The picture shows a cell phone that has opened the app store. On the screen the


With the help of gamification in healthcare, information on the topic of health is conveyed in a playful way. Apps are created that are both informative and entertaining..

Serious Games

This type of gamification falls under the game type of "serious games". Serious games are games that serve to acquire and apply learned knowledge. In order to make it easier to remember information, it is packaged in an entertaining way. One of the best-known games is "Dr. Kawashima's Brain Jogging", which was released on the Nintendo DS in 2006. In it, cognitive, motor, haptic and linguistic skills are trained with the help of small mini-games. The application is intended to increase the brain's performance through daily play. A version for the Nintendo Switch has already been available since this year.


To live healthy and fit, people need sufficient motivation. Sport and good nutrition are crucial for this. A lot of small steps forward can help to stimulate and maintain motivation. This can be achieved with the help of gamification. For this purpose, small progress can be visualized by short game levels. Furthermore, quests can be assigned that target a specific location. The players then have to reach this location by running or jogging there. Apps that use quests of this kind are, for example, "Zombies, Run!" or "The Walk". Likewise, fitness apps or healthy eating apps can help increase health awareness. For more, see the articles "The 11 best fitness apps" and "5 apps for healthy eating"

The image shows a woman starting to sprint. She kneels on a cell phone, which plays a gamification app.


Many different means exist for gamification, which can help the user increase motivation. These include challenges, team tasks, and rewards. Likewise, a reward system, in the form of bonus points, is extremely helpful. Another aspect of increasing motivation is persistence to complete daily missions or move up the leaderboard.

The picture shows a hand holding up a mobile phone. On the phone is a picture of Pokémon Go, a gamification app, or game production.


One of the most popular mobile games, "Pokémon Go," has helped get more people out and about. Pokémon Go is a geolocation game and is designed to calculate distances traveled by the player to unlock achievements in the game. This includes, for example, hatching an egg. For more on "Pokémon Go," see the article "What is Pokémon GO? - 3 Questions, 3 Answers".

Although the game wasn't designed to get people walking, that's exactly what happened. Even teenagers, who nowadays often spend most of their time in front of a PC or console, have been "forced" to go outside as a result.


There are already apps for the chronically ill that are designed to help them cope better with their daily lives. The aim is to promote health-conscious behavior. One example is the MySugr app for diabetes sufferers. It contains a diary with motivational messages and allows important therapy data to be recorded at a glance. The app can also be synchronized with measuring devices. You can find more apps for chronically ill patients in the article "These apps can help chronically ill patients."


Nowadays, apps can encourage people to take better care of their health. Since people often lack the motivation to exercise regularly, gamification is a helpful tool. This is also shown by the successful game "Pokémon Go", which has already encouraged millions of people to exercise more. It should be noted that this was not the original goal of the game. Gamification can also make the everyday life of a chronically ill person easier, as apps can remind them of important appointments or save therapy data.

An article from Danielle Kern written on 10.08.2020

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