Facebook Game Helps People with Diabetes Improve Everyday Behaviors
HealthSeeker players can enlist 'friends' for ongoing support in improving their understanding and management of diabetes
BERKELEY, Calif., and BOSTON, Mass. -- June 14, 2010 -- A new game called HealthSeeker(tm) launched today on Facebook(r), with the goal of helping players make specific lifestyle changes that focus on healthy eating. While the benefits of the game are available to anyone, HealthSeeker specifically helps people with diabetes make more informed lifestyle decisions in an innovative way that complements their daily use of social media.
HealthSeeker is an innovative, unique, online experience that combines a supportive social networking environment with important information on managing diabetes. The game utilizes the player's own Facebook friends as sources of inspiration and support on the road to better health. There are MISSIONS and ACTION STEPS to help players achieve LIFESTYLE GOALS and create an opportunity to advance in the game. These LIFESTYLE GOALS include eating more healthfully, achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, improving one's diabetes control and lowering cardiovascular risk factors. As ACTION STEPS are completed and players return to report their progress, they receive experience points and other awards for their achievements.
HealthSeeker is a unique collaboration between diabetes experts and patient advocates who are on the front lines of diabetes care. It was developed by the Diabetes Hands Foundation in collaboration with Joslin Diabetes Center, with financial support provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
"With HealthSeeker, we wanted to harness the Facebook phenomenon to help people with diabetes make necessary changes in their daily lives," said Manny Hernandez, president of Diabetes Hands Foundation, who has been living with diabetes since 2002. "I cannot overstate what a source of support, information and inspiration social networking tools like this can be for someone living with a chronic condition like diabetes."
Many people with diabetes struggle with the lifestyle changes that are needed to help manage their condition, such as adding more fiber, fruit and vegetables to their diets, or increasing their daily activity. HealthSeeker can help people with diabetes stay motivated by suggesting simple, everyday steps to help them achieve their lifestyle goals and then rewarding them for their success.
"As a clinician who has been treating people with diabetes for over 30 years, I can tell you that food is often the most frustrating area of concern for people with the condition," said Dr. Richard Jackson, an endocrinologist and Director of Medical Affairs, Healthcare Services, Joslin Diabetes Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. "We hope this novel and engaging game will break down some of the barriers that are preventing people with diabetes from building a successful lifestyle approach to their condition."
HealthSeeker can be accessed at http://www.healthseekergame.org/. The game was designed by Ayogo Games, Inc.
About Joslin Diabetes Center
Joslin Diabetes Center is the world's preeminent diabetes research and clinical care organization. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real hope and progress toward diabetes prevention and a cure. Founded in 1898 by Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Joslin does not endorse products or services.
For more information about Joslin, visit www.joslin.org. Keep up with Joslin research and clinical news at Inside Joslin: www.joslin.org/news/inside_joslin.html, friend Joslin on Facebook at www.facebook.com/joslindiabetescenter and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/JoslinDiabetes.
About the Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF)
The Diabetes Hands Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to connecting people touched by diabetes (those with diabetes as well as their loved ones) and raising diabetes awareness. Through its online communities (TuDiabetes.org in English, EsTuDiabetes.org in Spanish) and its other social media channels, DHF offers support and information to nearly 200,000 people every month. Since 2008, DHF has developed pioneering diabetes awareness programs such as Word In Your Hand(tm), Drawing Diabetes, No-Sugar Added Poetry, Making Sense of Diabetes and The Big Blue Test. For more information, please visit http://www.diabeteshandsfoundation.org/. On Facebook: www.facebook.com/diabetesHF. On Twitter: twitter.com/diabetesHF. On YouTube: www.youtube.com/DiabetesHands. DHF does not endorse products or services.
About Ayogo Games Inc.
Ayogo Games Inc. is a Vancouver-based studio that creates social games on social networks (Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, etc.), and mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc.). Ayogo helps content creators and rights holders build new revenue streams and new audiences for their content. Keep up with CEO Michael Fergusson's Social Game Design Blog at www.ayogo.com/social-game-design or visit Ayogo's corporate site, http://www.ayogo.com/. You can also friend Ayogo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ayogo and follow it on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ayogogames.