Pharmaguy interviews Andy Yeoman, co-founder of Focus Active Learning (see Bio), about making games that work for patients. The only way to get it right is to understand exactly what you're trying to achieve within the target audience and know how to communicate with them in a way that persuades them to think and behave differently and achieve learning objectives. We will discuss the obstacles that Pharma faces when designing games for patients and how the industry can avoid creating stressful games that imitate Angry Birds or Space Invaders.
Aired LIVE on: Monday, February 17, 2014
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Pharmaguy's blog post "What the Flappy Bird Story Can Teach Pharma Game Developers") resonated with Andy Yeoman.
"Your post articulates most of the things that drive us nuts about Pharma and games," said Yeoman in an email to Pharmaguy. "We've been making and using games in healthcare for 10 years and we have solid evidence (qualitative and quantitative) that our games can change the way players think and behave. But most Pharma folk take a look at a board game or simple web app and ignore them in favor of imitating Angry Birds or Space Invaders that will have no impact on target users."
In reviewing some pharma games for patients, Pharmaguy was reminded of the humorous Direct TV commercials and wrote this ditty:
When you play a pharma company game, you feel stressed.
When you feel stressed, you need to feel calm and protected.
When you need to feel feel calm and protected, you try binge eating.
When you try binge eating, your hormones shoot up.
When your hormones shoot up, your blood sugar increases.
When your blood sugar increases, your diabetes complications get worse.
When your diabetes complications get worse, you toss your meds into the trash.
Don't toss your meds into the trash.
Get rid of pharma company games and take better care of yourself!
Andy Yeoman originally planned a career in immunology but he rapidly rejected that in favor of a more commercial path and subsequently spent over 20 years working in investment banking, healthcare, management consulting and training.
Andy co-founded Focus Active Learning 10 years ago with his business partner Melvin Bell and their core business is creating 'serious' games that make learning and change more memorable, enjoyable and effective. The company is UK based with offices in London and Glasgow but their work is international.
They help organizations to engage with their staff and stakeholders to change their thinking and behavior. Most of their work is with healthcare providers and life sciences companies focusing on clinical & patient engagement, behavioral change and performance improvement.