mHealth and gamification

Clohessy, Trevor
Kenny, Grace
Clohessy, T., & Kenny, G. (2016). The impact of gamification on mHealth fitness application privacy literacy. Paper presented at the SIG Health Pre-ICIS Workshop, Dublin.
The use of mobile health (mHealth) applications for incentivizing health behaviour change continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. This growth has been accelerated by recent advancements in smart mobile technology such as cloud computing, internet of things, sensors, phones, tablets, wristbands and watches. Physicians and other health care professionals are increasingly advising their patients on the merits of using these applications as health monitoring (e.g. diabetes, heart rate etc.) and health improvement tools (e.g. smoking cessation, weight control etc.). mHealth fitness applications such as Fitbit, Jawbone, Fuelband, and Nike+ have become increasingly popular with an estimated 25 million fitness applications sold in 2015 (GFK, 2015). However, in order for these applications to be truly effective they require the user to be wholly comfortable and transparent with the levels of personal data which are entered into and subsequently generated by these devices. For instance, the majority of these fitness applications monitor heart rate, chart sleep patterns, log exercise, diet and calories, enable social media sharing and compare users to their peers in order to set goals. It is widely agreed that privacy represents a barrier to the continued success of mHealth (Mosa et al. 2012; Whittaker, 2012). However, the importance of privacy contrasts with the current practices of mHealth providers who tend to utilize opaque, lengthy privacy policies and engage in excessive sharing of data with a multitude of third parties, some of whom are not listed in the privacy policy (Privacy Rights ClearingHouse, 2013). Thus, there is an apparent need to investigate the changing role of privacy in the health context.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland