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.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.