Medical marketers, get ready for conversations taking place at the intersection of gaming and healthcare.
The series, called “Gamechangers of Health,” is hosted by 21GRAMS VP and strategy director Devon Taylor, who will conduct interviews with experts in both the healthcare and gaming industries. Through these interviews, Taylor will explore how marketers can expand their reach to patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) through the channel.
The podcast series is a personal endeavor for Taylor, who found video games to be therapeutic for her after the birth of her second son.
“I went through tremendous postpartum depression and anxiety,” Taylor recalled. “[That] was the inspiration [for this series] because gaming got me through it – I was able to use gaming to calm myself, to escape and relieve stress.”
That experience made Taylor think about the endless possibilities gaming holds for health – whether for healthcare marketers as another medium to reach people or for pharma companies in terms of developing therapies.
She added that gaming is an area where marketers should be strategically pointing messaging towards as healthcare leans further into gamification.
“As advertisers, we want to make sure we’re meeting our audience where they are,” Taylor said. “Gaming is such a massive industry and as we like to point out, it brings in more revenue than music and movies combined – [totaling] $200 billion in revenue in 2022. It made sense from a strategic marketing standpoint to make sure that brands are aware of those channels – and aware that their patients are gamers and HCPs are gamers.”
The first episode, which launched Wednesday, features gaming journalist Andrea Rene and delves into how gaming can be used as therapy and operate within the patient experience. New episodes will be released every month.
Some players in the space have begun exploring how video games can impact physician’s decision-making and knowledge. Notably, medical video games company Level Ex has recently developed several medical education-based games that teach doctors about different conditions and new treatments. And immersive virtual reality has long been examined as a support to a variety of therapeutics, like physical therapy.
Still, Taylor said she thinks healthcare is “behind when it comes to using gaming.” She believes there are many more opportunities that brands can jump on – whether it means placing messaging on billboards in games, using in-game advertising on mobile, or even bringing certain aspects of a disease state into the game.
Perhaps there’s a player with a specific medical condition, where the side effects affect the gameplay and story. Such an example could serve as an “authentic” way for players to experience what it’s like to be faced with medical or mental health conditions, Taylor emphasized.
There’s also the potential to “create a game from scratch,” she said, which could be as simple as a web-based game or a complex console game. The podcast series will begin to scratch the surface on some of those possibilities and help healthcare marketers become more aware of them going forward.
“Whether you’re coming at this from the healthcare lens or the gaming lens, [you may] learn new things you probably wouldn’t necessarily come by in your day-to-day,” Taylor said. “We want to make it accessible: If you know nothing about healthcare marketing, and if you know nothing about gaming, it’s still going to be a good listen for you.”