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Sometimes a doctor’s well-intentioned advice may not be enough to incentivize long-term change for patients. Gamification may hold the key to unlocking progress by incorporating behavioral economics. This opportunity was tested by Dr. Mitesh S. Patel through various studies, focusing on the challenge of engaging participation and goal-setting. This Harvard Business Review article explores Dr. Patel’s key findings and takeaways, including:

  • A simple technique, known as a “pre-commitment pledge” gets participants on board with a contract and printed reminder.
  • Second, points were given to participants at the beginning of the study to motivate them to stay on track to avoid losing points (this is called “loss-aversion”).
  • Points were replenished each week to give participants extra incentive to continue reaching for the goal.
  • Social incentives were also incorporated that were designed to encourage collaboration, accountability, and peer support.

I read the article mentioned above ( and thought it was interesting. While I am not offering an endorsement of a strategy, tactics, thoughts, service nor a company or author, the information was intellectually stimulating and thoughtful and worth a review.