Seattle startup Mindbloom has reached a multi-year agreement with health insurance giant Aetna, which will offer an enhanced version of the company’s “Life Game” to its members as a way of promoting health and wellness.
Aetna is Mindbloom’s largest customer to date, said the startup’s CEO, Brent Poole, via phone this afternoon. It’s also a high-profile example of the rise of “gamification” — in which principles and strategies from video games are applied to other industries and areas of life.
People playing Mindbloom’s Life Game maintain a virtual “life tree” that grows based on how well they’re reaching their goals.
In the case of Aetna, the specialized version of the Life Game will be marketed starting this fall to more than 20 million people covered by the insurance company, through the companies where they work. The idea is to focus on preventative measures by helping motivate people to exercise, eat healthy foods, and stop smoking, among other goals.
“There’s a real shift in focus away from monolithic provider programs focused on prescriptions and treatments, toward a consumer focus on prevention and behavioral modification,” said Poole, explaining that Aetna is part of an influx of companies adopting the Mindbloom platform.
Mindbloom, based in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, was founded by Poole, an Amazon.com veteran, along with Chris Hewett, formerly of the Monolith Productions video-game studio. It has 12 employees and expects about $2 million in revenue this year.