For many years, the health-care industry failed to successfully integrate gaming into its strategy to improve patient outcomes. There have been some innovative attempts in the past to use video games as educational tools; one of the most notable examples is Captain Novolin, a game that diabetes specialist Novo Nordisk helped develop in the early 1990s to educate children suffering from type 1 diabetes.

Using games in conjunction with health had limited success throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, but the recent emergence of smartphones and and mobile gaming has reignited this dormant industry. Pharma giants including Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) are working with gaming specialists like Ayogo to develop educational games that can help educate children about diseases, and also help adults meet their health-related goals.

In the following video, analysts Rex Moore and Max Macaluso take a close look at this emerging field, why companies are interested in the gamification of health, and also why Sanofi is one of the big pharmas leading the pack when it comes to digital and mobile health.

Max Macaluso, Ph.D., Rex Moore, and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.