“Healthification” honoured with Gold award at the 2023 World Media Festivals, Hamburg, Germany

The short film “Healthification” playfully explains how digital health interventions, through the use of storytelling, can promote healthy behaviours among individuals affected by non-communicable diseases. We are very happy to announce that for this innovative approach, Prof. Tobias Kowatsch and the agency Zense were honoured with the Gold award at the 2023 World Media Festivals in Hamburg.

Non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and mental illnesses, are on the rise worldwide and already account for over 70% of global deaths. Even for those who do not die from these diseases, they present significant psychological and financial challenges. People with lower socioeconomic status are particularly affected by this situation. Lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and reducing alcohol consumption, can lead to improvements in health conditions. However, a problem arises when individuals from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented in studies that explore such measures. As a result, these interventions do not reach those who need them most urgently. The animated short film “Healthification,” initiated by Tobias Kowatsch, professor of digital health interventions at the Universities of Zurich and St. Gallen, and produced by the agency Zense, aims to show how affected individuals can be motivated to adopt a health-promoting lifestyle in their daily lives on a long-term basis.

“We’ve all experienced it. Dealing with our health or incorporating healthy habits, such as integrating more exercise into our daily routines, is not easy and often not enjoyable. However, it’s a completely different story when it comes to our favourite series on Netflix and Co. Episode after episode, often spanning several seasons, we stay engaged and cheer on our heroes and heroines. So, what can we learn from “Stranger Things” or “Emily in Paris” for digital health interventions? The delivery of health information should be just as concise and captivating as our favourite series – in the form of stories. This is the most effective way to motivate individuals and their environment to do something for their health in the long run, and the information stays in their memory for longer. That’s what we wanted to convey in our short film” – Prof. Tobias Kowatsch.

Watch “Healthification” here.

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