Diabetes management is really complex. There is a risk of short term complications (severe hypoglycemia i.e., too low blood glucose and hyperglycemia, i.e., too high blood glucose), which can both be fatal. But the long term complications, which are caused by elevated blood glucose over time, are as scary. Heart disease, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, premature death can all be caused by diabetes. Diabetes also takes a huge amount of time: counting every carbohydrate you eat, calculating insulin doses, changing infusion sites and sensors just needs to be done, no matter how tired or overwhelmed you might feel.
No wonder, there are many who know the mental burden of diabetes far too well. But being stressed about your condition does not help you to take any better care of yourself. Rather, we noticed that humour and positivity did help. Noticing the small wins (“oh, your blood glucose was really good at school today - well done!”) made a big difference. So we wanted to turn that approach into a new way of diabetes management. Giving insights to own future glucose and rewards when succeeding in own care.
This idea turned into Happy Bob, an app that uses gamification and machine learning to turn health data into rewarding and engaging experiences.
Users can follow their own blood glucose data in stars, which can be collected when keeping sugar within target. With the stars collected within a day, user can achieve daily star targets and share scores with others in the global leaderboard. Users can also create their own Clans, invite friends, share private status updates and compete for the daily stars, while helping each other to stay in range.
Happy Bob is also available in the Snarky Bob mode for those with a more sarcastic sense of humour.
The app is available on iPhone and Android and is used by thousands of children and adults. Users tell Happy Bob provides a more fun aspect to their diabetes management and helps them to be more motivated and aware of their own data. Everyone enjoys collecting stars and getting positive feedback.
Next, we plan to add more health data in the experience, to provide a more holistic health management experience and more ways to be rewarded. Our goal is to help users foresee the times when they should pay extra attention to their blood sugar and health, to prevent the risk of complications.
We believe that by creating a daily, fun habit of good glucose management with Happy Bob, many people with diabetes can have a better life and health.
My three boys. Finland has the world’s highest incidence of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is on the rise across the globe. With good glucose control most of the complications can be prevented.
14th of December 2020