B3 - Gamification – The pharmacist as playmaster

Conference Hall A - Section A

Organised by FIP’s Community Pharmacy Section, in collaboration with the FIP SIG on Pharmacy Practice Research


Charlotte Rossing (Pharmakon, Denmark)


The key to success is time commitment or loyalty to a subject. Both can be hard to achieve, but there are factors that can make things easier. Some people are motivated by a feeling of community and socialising, others by getting rewards for achievements, competing against others, looking at data and measurements about small successes, or simply by fun. Technology can combine many of these factors and could become a resource-liberating tool, and encourage us to spend more time on the desired goal.

Game play focuses and controls our attention, taps into our innate strengths, thrills us utterly, and compels us to greater resilience in the attainment of more powerful and effective skills. That is why many believe it is perfect for behaviour change in healthcare. A game is more than the automatic collector of vital signs and notifications. Gamified services engage us, keep us motivated and help us down the bumpy road of change. They are a combination of a great “buddy” and a considerate parent.

In the medical world, “compliance” is used to describe the extent to which patients stick to a therapy. Yet, as patients are more and more empowered, the expression becomes more offensive because it implies that patients blindly following doctors’ commands and do not follow recommendations voluntarily. Instead, they want to take an active part in their health, they want the patient-doctor relationship to be on an equal level. Instead of compliance, they want to be motivated in the long-run. With digital health powered healthcare in the future, gamification will be the help already motivated patients need in order to stick to therapies with little effort.

Pharmacy must look to be involved with new technological developments if it wishes to remain relevant in the minds of patients and consumers. Pharmacy organisations that can learn to leverage multiple forms of technology and create a sustainable product can operate on the cutting edge of digital health. Using social media to help maintain a presence with patients, involving them in their health and helping to navigate them through the health care system, is one benefit. Using gamification to help maintain that engagement and foster continued consumer and patient interaction is another. Involving pharmacists as health information experts with knowledge and training on techniques for disease care and medication adherence will most likely help increase patient goodwill and lead to improved medical outcomes.


12:30 -12:40 Introduction by the chair

  1. 12:40 – 13:15 Gamification ― The case of DrugStars
    Claus Møldrup (DrugStars, Denmark)
  2. 13:15 – 13:50 The role of professionals in a new technological era
    Darrin Baines (Bournemouth University, UK)

13:50 – 13:55 Conclusion by the chair

13:55 – 14:00 Room refresh


Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the concept of gamification
  2. Distinguish — from a case ― how principles from gamification are applied in compliance technologies, and describe the results
  3. Express the future role of pharmacists counselling patients who “Play with their medicines”
  4. State the importance of why pharmacy needs to be part of this development.

Type of session: Knowledge-based