Washington, DC– It is estimated that last year alone Americans lost $119 billion on gambling. With those astronomical losses in the billions, is there a way that healthcare can capitalize on people’s obsession with betting and gambling? Two Georgetown University Hospital anesthesiologists think so and are on a mission to tap into the mindset of gamblers to get people to truly invest in their own health.
The two of them have partnered to create a motivational app called Bushytail for patients that leverages the natural appeal that gambling has on the human psyche.
Their first action will be to create gambling incentives for diabetes patients that come in the form of games. In order to “play” users make a bet that serves as their buy-in that goes into a larger pot with wagers from other diabetics. If you hit your target A1C levels for the allotted time then you get your cash back plus any of the cash that is lost by other “players.”
One of the largest opportunities with hosting such an app is the actionable data that comes with it.
After a while, all that data on all these patients––whether they win or lose––will be very valuable,” says DeGroot (Cofounder of Bushytail Health). “We will know where they succeed and where they fall down.
If their diabetes trial is successful, they hope to go after other chronic conditions such as high cholesterol and hypertension. Focusing their efforts on chronic conditions is a unique angle that may be able to provide a solution for many patients that don’t actually feel sick.