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The Social-Validation Feedback Loop

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Recently Sean Parker, the first President of Facebook, issued some harsh criticism of social networks in an interview on the website Axios. He claims they work to exploit “a vulnerability in human psychology” and that those networks will eventually “consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible.”  He claims the networks do this by creating a system to generate addictive loops that “sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever.”

That “social-validation feedback loop”, as Sean called it, is very powerful and used by all of the major social media sites which continue to grow and consume our time and attention. But what if we could take those same techniques Facebook used to grow to over 2 billion active users a month and applied them to something positive, like health education?

Recently, Tom Chamberlain, PharmD, CEO and Founder of EdLogics gave a presentation to the Global Action Summit on the Gamification of Health.  In his presentation, Dr. Chamberlain described various types of gaming technologies, such as Video Games, Mobile Apps, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Interactive Learning, and how they are being used in the medical field

Gaming Technologies

Chamberlain went on to discuss the key principles of gamification including instant rewards, milestones, status and competition and described how a “little dopamine hit” is generated through playing these games and through the use of gamification techniques.

Gamification Principles

Driving engagement and facilitating behavior changes are the “holy grails” of health improvement programs. If we can get individuals, employees, plan members, and/or communities more engaged in understanding and acting on their own health, we can see vast improvements in a population’s health and lowered costs. This is why the area of gamification is so exciting.

EdLogics is applying this “social validation feedback loop” to the problem of health literacy – the major issue associated with poor health outcomes and higher costs. It’s pretty clear that if a person does not understand their health, their health issues, the healthcare system or their health insurance, they won’t be able to maintain or improve their health, select the right provider, adhere to treatment, or more.

These approaches are not just fun and games when it comes to health, they are using real science in an effort to drive behavior change and improve one’s life.

If you’d like more information on the EdLogics platform for your employees, health plan or as a broker/consultant, please use the contact page.

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Fred Goldstein is the founder and president of Accountable Health, LLC, a healthcare consulting firm focused on population health. He has over 30 years of experience in population health, disease management, HMO and hospital operations. He is an expert in population health, care management...read more

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Annual Conference

Population Health, Engagament and Patient Portals
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The 2017 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference – commonly known as HiMSS –  was another huge conference that covered so much it was a bit overwhelming.  The number of presentations and vendor booths was incredible and the opportunity to review company IT offerings and network was amazing.

Population Health and Engagement were still major buzzwords at this year’s conference and I had the opportunity to review several of the population health management systems developed by major EMR companies and other vendors.

The focus of these platforms was still on registry type information with the ability to drill down for the doctor, nurse care manager or other.  This year many of the vendors highlighted their new dashboards and other graphical interfaces.  In reviewing these systems and speaking with others, we saw little evidence of user-friendly workflows or for that matter, any real attention paid to the patient.

From the patient perspective, while many of the platforms included patient portals that provided data, a communications component and some patient education – these components were not well thought out and clearly not engaging enough to sustain long term interaction.

In a population health based approach, the patient needs to be actively involved and engaged when they are not at the physician’s office. One of the components of this engagement strategy should be a portal with a solid user experience and relevant information. From years of research along with knowledge gleaned from the retail industry, we know what engages and activates people. Based on this knowledge, these portals should include a stronger focus on the look and feel of the site, the overall patient experience and flow, and leverage gamification, games and behavioral economics.

One simple way to “plug and play” these types of feature sets into the patient portal and add prescribed education to population health programs would be to integrate the EdLogics Platform.

The EdLogics platform greatly increases engagement and incentivizes interaction and learning wherever and whenever the patient is available, providing the education needed to change behaviors.

EdLogics Founder and CEO Tom Chamberlain was interviewed at HiMSS. Listen to the interview here.

Learn more about HiMSS.

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Subscribe now. Know when we publish our latest articles on health literacy, gamification, and healthcare.

Fred Goldstein is the founder and president of Accountable Health, LLC, a healthcare consulting firm focused on population health. He has over 30 years of experience in population health, disease management, HMO and hospital operations. He is an expert in population health, care management...read more