How Gamification Can Transform the Success of Your Clinical Trial

Did you know that 70% of all people who have a mobile phone use it to play games? The figures are just as similar for tablet computers too. Life is becoming more fun as we become more able to play wherever and whenever we want.


But gaming is no longer just limited to the younger, male, population, with increasing numbers of women and older age groups getting involved in the booming trend. The rise of video and mobile games has engineered us to respond well to gamification for engagement purposes, and this is something that has been capitalized on by businesses. Obviously, this is great news for game designers, app developers, and software companies. But, gamification is becoming increasingly relevant and applicable to other industries, including that of clinical trials.

Patient recruitment, enrollment, engagement, and retention are crucial stages of any trial, and gamification can be exploited and utilized in these areas, and indeed have already been shown to do so successfully.

At Citruslabs, for example, gamification is a vital part of what we do. We make apps to assist with clinical trial recruitment, patient enrollment, participation, and retention. Beginning with patient recruitment, the research-backed brain games within our flagship ‘MindMate’ app are designed to track cognitive decline and collect data on a range of health conditions that allow us to find eligible patients for our partners’ trials quickly and easily. Our games are designed to maintain engagement through advancing levels, achievements and rewards, and the opportunity for users to track their progress as they play more.

Through in-app games, we can also conduct clinical tests like the mini-mental state examination and the clinical dementia rating, which allow us to collect important data through a user-interface that is designed to be fun and easy-to-use.


How to Maximize Gamification

Here are some key aspects of gamification that should be considered and implemented when planning to generate maximum engagement:

Behaviors. The most successful game initiatives are tied to goals that you want the individual to accomplish. When the game’s goals are focused on positively changing users’ behaviors, causing them to both interact more with your content and complete the desired action, it is more likely to succeed. The game must do more than just be fun.

Levels. Games are fun, but if the user does not feel challenged then they become bored and gamification fails. But with different levels and the opportunity to advance, as one’s skills improve and practice builds, helps to maintain a sense of fun and challenge that creates greater engagement.

Competition. Humans are wired for competition by design, and games tap into this desire to better both ourselves and others. Incorporating leaderboards and high scores into your games increase engagement as they work to improve upon their best efforts. The possibility of virtual awards such as trophies, bonus levels, and unlockable content works in a similar way and satisfies the human desire for accomplishment. These rewards should always be linked to the changing behaviors that help you meet your goals.

Keep it Simple. The best games are those that are simple. To retain players, you should focus on making the game as easy to learn, play, and use as possible. The interface should be simple and tailored appropriately to the audience you are targeting.

Add a Social Element. Social validation is a key part of creating strong engagement. If the game provides a way for users to share their successes, achievements, and progress, then they are more likely to keep engaged.

Introducing Citrus

Research sites looking to increase patient recruitment and retention in clinical trials should look no further than Citrus. Our patient recruitment dashboard provides your study with fully integrated software to streamline your patient recruitment process. Recruit at scale with a human touch through automated, customized campaigns, and engage your patients in ways not possible with CTMS systems.

With over 200 research sites using the Citrus platform to screen thousands of patients every month, researchers across the globe are getting one step closer to finding new treatments for hundreds of different health conditions. Save valuable hours in your recruitment timeline. Increase on-site screenings, boost your enrollment targets, and retain more patients in your clinical trials.

Clinical trials run on Citrus.

Still a little unsure? Check out what our customers have to say about us here.


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