Using video games to establish compliant behaviors

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Using video games to establish compliant behaviors

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We have created a system that rewards compliance and incentivises patient and support networks.

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Plot your innovation within the mosaic of solutions
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Insufficient Evidence that Games Improve Health

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Physical Health

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:

Deeply entrenched procedure and adversity to true innovation. Many industries are reluctant to embrace a new technology or, if willing, are unable to market such technology in a new way. Thus, we find that a new technology is forced through the same old marketing and advertising channels.

What is your signature innovation in one sentence?

We have created a system that rewards compliance and incentivises patient and support networks.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

The Glucoboy is a blood glucose meter with a twist. It also includes 2 full length video games and a mini-arcade that can be accessed when the Glucoboy is inserted into a Nintendo Game Boy Advance system.
Glucose test scores are converted into points that can be used in the games, and progress in the game is dependant on good testing habits. The industry is focused on making devices that are faster, smaller, and more accurate, but none of those things go to the root of why people with diabetes do not actually test their blood regularly. We do.

The user tests their blood as they normally would. When the Glucoboy is inserted into a Nintendo Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS, their tests are converted into points that they can convert into currency for use in one of the two full-length video games, OR unlock games in the mini-arcade. If the user has better test habits (well spaced tests, enough tests per day, good levels) they get more points, and bonus points for consecutive "good" days

What barriers exist that are creating the problem your innovation is hoping to address/change?

Kids with diabetes are expected to test their blood as many as 6-8 times per day, and then administer insulin accordingly. It is no wonder that blood glucose meters get "lost" and "disappear". When they are not testing, for whatever reason, they are generating negative habits that will impact their longterm health and in many cases, thier lifespan.

Barriers include stigma from peers, pain of testing, remembering to test, adversity to diet change and excercise, and lack of long term vision.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing.

Our meter will help generate compliant behaviors as kids use the device and are rewarded for good testing habits. In addtion, we have created a social networking web community where kids can interact, and spend the points that they have accumulated through good testing habits. Built into the online community is a system to inform and unite care providers and support networks. In addition, we have developed mechanisms to help parents feel more secure and to remove a layer of tension between parents and their child with diabetes.

Users test their blood and get rewarded for it. They get more points for consecutive days of good testing. Points are spent in the game or online community. As they test well, they are generating habits that will last even when their are no longer playing the game. The reward helps kids remember to test, and the fact that they have a game that their friends dont have lessens the stigma to a degree. Good testing, good levels (which addresses diet and excersise).

How do you plan to scale your innovation?

We have developed other components that will roll out post initial launch. We augment the system with a collectible card game, a line of edgy t-shirts, customizeable "skins" for the device. The web community is expandible infinitely, and follow up devices are planned.

Provide one sentence describing your impact.

We are receiving requests daily for the the Glucoboy, and many distributors and retailers internationally are competing for exclusivity.

What impact has your innovation had to date? Exactly who are the beneficiaries of your innovation?

Our impact thus far, though not insignifficant, has been minimal since our product launches in November. Perhaps more importantly, the amount of interest and disruption the Glucoboy has created has been huge. Children with diabetes are asking for the device, parents of children with diabetes are frantic for the device, and care providers are excited to see how increased compliance can be measured with the Glucoboy platform.

How many people have you served directly?

As we have not yet launched, we have had no personally direct contact with consumers. We have however garnered the support of some of the worlds largest diabetes related organizations.

How many people have you served indirectly?

This is more difficult to determine as the Glucoboy has generated extreme amounts of buzz in the industry. Quantifing the world wide touch is nearly impossible.

Please list any other measures reflective of the impact of your innovation

This field has not been completed

What are the main barriers to creating your impact?

Education is certainly one of the largest barriers. Many care providers who will recommend the Glucoboy to patients need to be fully educated and need to have all their questions answers. Secondly, we face the problem of health insurance companies worldwide and general barriers to switching blood glucose meters.

How is your initiative financed?

The Glucoboy will generate revenue from sales of the device itself, test strips, and other surrounding products and services.

Provide information on your finances and organization: annual budget, annual revenue, number of staff:

This field has not been completed

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

The potential demand for the Glucoboy is astronomical. Every child with diabetes will benefit from this product. In terms of numbers, the potential demand is in the millions worldwide.

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

Education of care providers, demonstration of increased compliance, solid partnerships and distribution.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

Paul Wessel developed the Glucoboy when he noticed that his own son (diagnosed with diabetes at a very young age) had a habit of losing his meter, but always knew where his Game Boy was. As a parent of a child with diabetes, Paul knows the pitfalls that the child and the parents/families face. The device took all that experience and brought it to the development of the Glucoboy system.

A blood glucose meter with built in video games was the first part. Generating compelling games, that crossed age and gender boundaries was another thing entirely. We engineered a property that is designed to appeal to both boys and girls in our age bracket. Further, we expanded the concept to a web community that is much like MySpace in its "social networking" aspects, intending to add value to the system and reaching out to the female population who may not be as into video games.

After many unfruitful years, the Glucoboy has finally become a reality and we are excited to see the product launch.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material

I would prefer to point to the founder here, Paul Wessel. Paul was previously a Senior Sales Executive and Factory Automation Specialist at Honeywell Corporation. In addition, he served in a variety of roles at Banner Engineering, including Director of Global Automotive Strategies, Director of Marketing and Product Development in the Safety Products Group, and National Accounts Manager.

Andy Swanson worked for many years at Nintendo of America in licensing, brand management, and as a producer.

How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)

Word of Mouth