Although only in its beginning stages, the global healthcare gamification market is anticipated to reach nearly $50 million in revenue by 2026, according to a Research Dive article from Yahoo Finance. Gamification represents a key opportunity for healthcare providers to diversify their revenue streams in this nascent market segment.

Gamification takes typical elements of game playing—like point scoring, competition, and the following of rules—to accomplish goals and applies them to other areas of activity to encourage engagement. In 2020, the FDA approved the first prescription video game, EndeavorRx®, for children with ADHD. A variety of other medical games are being explored, such as the use of virtual reality to manage pain and smartphone-based games to identify patients at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, with many others under development.

Subsequently, it is not surprising that a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9% is expected for the healthcare gamification market during the forecast period of 2019-2026, going from approximately $19 million to $47 million. CAGR describes the rate at which an investment will grow if the growth rate remains the same and the profits are reinvested at the end of each year. While this type of consistent growth is generally considered unlikely, the CAGR percentage is still considered a good indicator of an investment’s potential.

According to the analysts at Research Dive, people around the world are getting more health conscious as their health is affected by the faster adoption of modern lifestyles, which includes the increased use of wellness apps to track their health data. While these factors are estimated to fuel the growth of global healthcare gamification, the analysts warn that improper use of games and high associated costs may restrict growth in the coming years.

In the same Research Dive article, it’s said that by game type, the casual games sub-segment accounted for $8 million in revenue in 2018. Casual games, which include arcade games and puzzle games with broad appeal that help monitor a user’s behavior, are expected to continue to dominate the market share during the forecast period.

By application, the Research Dive analysts predict that the prevention subsegment will prove the most popular, with revenue expected to surpass $11.5 million during the forecast period. This number is attributed to the increasing number of fitness lovers coupled with the growing usage of various health and fitness apps to compare performance, one of the key motivators behind good gamification.