Games in Healthcare

Humana Games Launches Health-Related Applications

Humana Games LogoHumana Games has released two new online games which focus on maintaining healthy habits. Targeting adults, the applications are both available online, free of charge and will also serve to determine how consumers share health messages online.

The first game, available directly through Humana’s website is titled the Freewheelin Cycle Challenge. It was launched in December 2008. Directed to women ages 35 and over, it will allow Humana to connect with these healthcare decision makers via a nontraditional medium, explained Paul Puopolo, director of consumer innovation at Humana, in a news report.

To play the game: “Cycle through each challenge and cross the finish line before your opponent does. But you’ll need the proper nutrition to stay on course. Stock up on fruit & water and avoid junk good to stay in top shape!” This simple game effectively teaches better eating habits and rewards good food choices. Read More...

The second game, titled the Battle of the Bulge, is Humana’s first Facebook application. Also released last December, this holiday-themed game targets a slightly younger demographic, men and women ages 28 and older. The game is trivia based and will have you facing off against your friends - making them gain or lose virtual pounds as you learn some interesting facts about calorie intake.

The viral component of these games is significant to Humana. The company’s communications staff is measuring the success of the games by the number of impressions they receive and how long consumers play them, said Puopolo.

In addition to these new games, two mobile titles are scheduled for launch by the second quarter 2009.

The Humana Games lab, studies various video games genres to understand how they can be used to make people healthier and encourage them to have a more active lifestyle. The company promotes a variety of exergames, persuasive games, casual games, educational games, virtual world games and pervasive games.

“We believe that video games are not only fun, but can also be used to combat obesity, encourage effective disease management, provide entertaining physical therapy and battle age-related physical and mental decline,” states their website.