This talk was part ofPSFK Conference SF 2012


At Mango Health, Jason Oberfest has been using the principles of social game design to develop consumer health products that inspire users to manage and improve their health in new ways. Speaking at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO, Oberfest discussed how he went back to the original principles of game design in order to develop mobile health apps. Coming from the perspective that good game design can change human behavior, they worked on creating a final product that would be both engaging, and fun to use.

He lays out the principles for a successful product: it must be amusing and entertaining, offer elements of competition,  provide meaningful rewards, and be delivered in a visually compelling package. Applying these principles to their first app, Mango Health seeks to provide an all-in-one health center to help guide and inform users. First, the app connects you with a community of other users, by letting you compare health goals as well as results with others. It also allows the user to keep detailed personal health logs, which can be particularly useful for example in giving doctors more insight into what is going on between check-ups. Additionally, the app is designed to provide rewards through an accumulated currency system that can be translated into real world benefits that further help users achieve their health goals.

So far, there has been a great interest from healthcare services and brands to work in collaboration with with users of the app, as it provides a strategic platform to target their the the right consumer at the right moment based on their healthcare history.