Play your way to a health­ier liver

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Mo­bile games can be more than just fun— they could also be life­sav­ing, at least that’s what doc­tors at the Hos­pi­tals of Prov­i­dence are hop­ing. In an ef­fort to re­duce the high mor­tal­ity rate among His­pan­ics from liver dis­ease, the El Paso Times, the hospi­tal sys­tem and soft­ware com­pany Of­fer­Craft have part­nered to cre­ate an in­ter­ac­tive game that ed­u­cates play­ers about how to pre­vent the dis­ease.

Avail­able in English and Span­ish, the game is a mul­ti­me­dia trivia quiz that fea­tures short videos, links to podcasts and in­fo­graph­ics on liver dis­ease and how to avoid it. It has al­ready been played more than 3,000 times on smart­phones, com­put­ers and tablets. The idea came about after an in­ves­tiga­tive se­ries pub­lished in 2016 by the El Paso Times called liver dis­ease a “silent epi­demic” among His­pan­ics in the re­gion. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that the county’s death rate from liver dis­ease was nearly twice as high as the av­er­age for the state of Texas in 2013. The game’s devel­op­ers are hop­ing that by cre­at­ing an in­for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ence that is also en­joy­able, they can be more ef­fec­tive in ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about the risks of the dis­ease, and ways to pre­vent it.

“The hard­est thing for a health­care provider to ac­com­plish is to mo­ti­vate changes in be­hav­ior to get peo­ple to take a more ac­tive role in their own health,” said Kurt Gross, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the Hos­pi­tals of Prov­i­dence, the largest hospi­tal group in El Paso County. “Liver dis­ease is pre­ventable, and it’s tak­ing a dis­pro­por­tion­ate toll on peo­ple in our com­mu­nity. We hope to change that.”

To in­cen­tivize par­tic­i­pa­tion in the cam­paign, the game also in­cludes a grand prize of an Ap­ple Watch, to be given away by the Hos­pi­tals of Prov­i­dence, which will open a new liver clinic early this year.

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