Mobile games can be more than just fun—they could also be life-saving, at least that's what doctors at the Hospitals of Providence are hoping. In an effort to reduce the high mortality rate among Hispanics from liver disease, the El Paso Times, the hospital system and software company OfferCraft have partnered to create an interactive game that educates players about how to prevent the disease.
Available in English and Spanish, the game is a multimedia trivia quiz that features short videos, links to podcasts and infographics on liver disease and how to avoid it. It has already been played more than 3,000 times on smartphones, computers and tablets. The idea came about after an investigative series published in 2016 by the El Paso Times called liver disease a “silent epidemic” among Hispanics in the region.
The investigation found that the county's death rate from liver disease was nearly twice as high as the average for the state of Texas in 2013. The game's developers are hoping that by creating an informative experience that is also enjoyable, they can be more effective in educating people about the risks of the disease, and ways to prevent it.
“The hardest thing for a healthcare provider to accomplish is to motivate changes in behavior to get people to take a more active role in their own health,” said Kurt Gross, director of marketing and communications at the Hospitals of Providence, the largest hospital group in El Paso County. “Liver disease is preventable, and it's taking a disproportionate toll on people in our community. We hope to change that.”
To incentivize participation in the campaign, the game also includes a grand prize of an Apple Watch, to be given away by the Hospitals of Providence, which will open a new liver clinic early this year.