Gamification, mHealth and user adherence


MyDiabetes is a mobile application targeted for the management of type I diabetes. A considerable challenge faced by diabetes' management applications is user adherence and motivation. In this article we will describe the different gamification techniques implemented in the MyDiabetes mobile application in order to tackle the mentioned challenges and increase the number of daily user records. To evaluate the success of the implemented gamification techniques, a survey was conducted at the endocrinology service of S. João’s Hospital. Twenty three participants, diabetics type I, participated in the survey. Different types of users' motivations resulted in contrasting opinions about particular gamification elements. Nonetheless, the implemented gamification was, in general, well accepted. The gamification elements with the lowest classification were streaks and social comparison of points. Even so, these elements obtained an acceptance rate of 83%. There was a common preference for elements that promote better glycaemic management. Classic gamification elements that promote points, levels and objective completion were not disregarded by the inquired patients, but were given a secondary roll in usage motivation. Although promising, it was not possible to determine the long-term effectiveness of the implemented gamification. Further trials are planned to verify the impact of gamification on long-term user adherence.

2020 IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC)
Pedro Brandão
Pedro Brandão
Assistant Professor

I am an assistant professor at Univ. Porto, with research interests in net security, net protocols and mHealth