Mango Health Harvests Games For Remembering Medication
I have a drawer full of fresh, vibrant oranges in the bottom of my refrigerator, screaming at me to juice them and keep myself healthy. Somehow, most mornings I fail to give my system the delicious Vitamin C boost that stares me in the face when I grab cream for my coffee. So I can understand how three out of every four U.S. adults stray from following a physician’s treatment regimen. I sympathize with the one half of all grownups in the country who forget to take prescribed medication. I may just try harder with the oranges so that I don’t join their ranks.
Skipping a dose of meds presents an enormous health risk when you take into account that at least 149 million Americans take at least one prescription medication every day. Our own well-being apparently isn’t enough to make us look after ourselves. Mango Health is a new startup that wants to help (and tap into that gigantic, potential user base).
A Mango-Spoonful Of Sugar…
Mango Health is an app in beta that applies the incentives and rewards of the gaming industry to encourage users to take their pills and supplements. The app features daily reminders to take drugs at specific times. By self-reporting and keeping on schedule, Mango patients will receive rewards like magazine subscriptions, discounts, and gift cards (brand partnerships are still a work in progress). As with other social games, Mango Health will tally a virtual currency for signing up for certain products and services.
Users will also be able to compare their progress with others following similar regimens. The app will provide alerts if it detects any complications that may result from medicine combinations–because clearly we can’t be trusted to tell our doctors everything we’re taking, or not taking. Mango Health also supplies a health journal for tracking exercise and other health-related activities
Mango Health is a San Francisco-based startup. The company hopes that its games will add some fun and elegance to the mundane practice of taking medications and supplements correctly. Maybe, just maybe, Mango Health will empower users to remember that the medicine needs to go down.
The Orchard Keepers
Jason Oberfest is the Co-founder and CEO at Mango Health. Previously, he served as VP of Social Applications at Ngmoco, which specializes in mobile gaming entertainment. At Ngmoco (sold to Japan’s DeNa in 2010 for approximately $403 million), he oversaw the product management and engineering of social platforms. Partnering with Zynga, Playdom, Playfish, Twitter, and others to launch MySpace Developer Platform, he helped increase active users to more than 30 million in just nine months.
Oberfest also worked as a Managing Director at Los Angeles Times Interactive, and he was involved with strategic planning at Blast Radius, a bootstrapped venture bought out by WPP Group in 2007.
His experience and partnerships helped Mango Health raise close to $1.5 in funding from noteworthy investors including Baseline’s Steve Anderson, First Round Capital, Floodgate’s Mike Maples, Square’s chief operating officer Keith Rabois, and Zynga CEO Mark Pincus. Sounds like Oberfest remembers to juice his oranges.