You’re involved in a public health campaign. It’s your job to teach people things, but also to convey to them the self-efficacy needed to act on that knowledge.

Here’s some very good news- people like learning. Software applications for public health campaigns can tap into this potential.

If you can package knowledge in such a way which captures minds, eyes and hands you’re one step closer to saving lives. One of the best ways to do that is through engaging, well designed applications, whether for mobile or web-browser. Without further ado then, let’s talk about some of our favourite ideas for public health campaigns empowered by applications.

1. Quizzes & Knowledge games

Some of the simplest- but still potentially quite effective- apps in this area take the form of quizzes. Anyone who has used social media in the last five years knows that online quizzes are very popular, and a number of such applications addressing areas such as knowledge about STI’s have been quite successful. Learning can be integrated seamlessly. See for example:
http://www.medicinenet.com/hiv-aids_quiz/quiz.htm

2. Diaries and other self-monitoring interventions

Of course ‘Apps’ doesn’t just mean games. Simply assisting people to monitor their own behaviour can be a powerful intervention in itself. For example, there’s a lot of evidence supporting the idea that food and exercise diaries can be a useful intervention for weight loss.

There’s an enormous space of possibilities. One could have self-monitoring of:

Exercise
Eating habits
Drug use
Safe-sex practices
Stress-management practices

And so on. Or for that matter any combination any combination of these. Building on the basic idea there’s an enormous range of additional possibilities, such as giving players a ‘score’, or sending text message reminders of what they’ve recorded thus far this week.

3. Roleplaying games
Making health choices in a simulated environment can be a great way to build up confidence, self-efficacy and knowledge. The kind of roleplaying apps that are possible vary enormously, from a ‘choose your own adventure’ style setup, all the way out to a game where you interact with a three dimensional environment.
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4. Interactive e-books
People like to read. But this is especially true if there are interactive components to that reading experience. That can range from something as simple as organizing information in such a way that you can easily search for what you like, to as complex as integrated quizzes and games, and diagrams which move and change.

We’re always interested in building applications, but particularly where they can save lives. What excites us about software applications for public health campaigns is this potential. If any of this sounds like something you’re interested in, give us a call on 9199 9666