Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reducing Disparities and Improving Outcomes with Interactive Games

What are Health and Health Care Disparities?
Health disparity: A higher burden of illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by one population group relative to another group.
Health care disparity: Differences between groups in health insurance coverage, access to and use of care, and quality of care.

Why do Health and Health Care Disparities Matter?
Disparities in health and health care limit continued improvement in overall quality of care and population health and result in unnecessary costs. 
  • Addressing disparities in health and health care is not only important from a social justice standpoint, but also for improving the health of all Americans by achieving improvements in overall quality of care and population health. Moreover, health disparities are costly, resulting in added health care costs, lost work productivity, and premature death. 

    Recent analysis estimates that 30% of direct medical costs for Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian Americans are excess costs due to health inequities (Figure 1) and that, overall, the economy loses an estimated $309 billion per year due to the direct and indirect costs of disparities.

Figure 1: Excess Medical Expenditures Due to Health Inequities

What is Needed to Reduce Disparities?

To reduce health disparities, interventions are required that can be used again and again without losing their therapeutic power, that can reach people even if local health care systems do not provide them with needed health care, and that can be shared globally without taking resources away from the populations where the interventions were developed. 

Reducing Disparities with Interactive Games
Presenting information to patients and caregivers in the form of an interactive game reduces anxiety and improves engagement. 
Click either of the pictures below  to see how games can be used to improve screening rates.

Visit mHealth Games for more information....