AR and VR: Evolving digital engagement in pharma

3rd October 2018 by Alex Teckkam

You are a consultant ophthalmologist. You have been invited to attend a promotional event about the clinical trial data of a pioneering treatment for macular degeneration. You picture the moment: speakers, discussion panel, hundreds of slides and an audience patiently absorbing the words. To your surprise on the day, you find yourself walking through a 360° video representation of the retina. Graphs and stats are popping up in the space around you as you interact with points of interest and engaging animation is explaining the physiology. How does this make you feel?

In the digital age we live in, virtual and augmented reality are a reality. VR and AR, as usually called, provide immersive experiences that awaken our senses and revolutionise the way we perceive our surroundings. VR started out with a niche in the gaming market. However, with headsets easily available from companies such as Oculus, HTC and Sony, many other industries are beginning to make use of this technology.

The healthcare industry should be no exception.

The most valuable asset of VR is its story telling power, that can take healthcare professionals on a journey of deep, personalised engagement with brands that conventional marketing channels simply cannot achieve. VR allows an innovative way of learning through living and interacting, creating emotions and memories that can be easily recalled.

As such, the anatomy of a defective eye is no longer a static image, but a 3D hologram that you can virtually operate and examine. The burdens throughout the patient journey are no longer impersonal testimonials, but a deep moving experience unfolding around you, that you become part of. With the power of simulation technologies at hand, why would healthcare stick to worn out methods of customer engagement and education?

The limitless applications of VR in healthcare, from both an educational and customer communications perspective, will be a central theme of this year’s eyeforpharma conference in London. On the 16th and 17th of October 2018, forward thinkers from both the pharma and the technology industry will come together to discuss how to re-shape long-lasting relationships with healthcare professionals by embracing digital.

medDigital, a specialist medical communications company, together with Visyon, experts in innovative VR, will be present to showcase transformative ways of evolving customer experience in pharma. The 2-day summit may prove that futurism owns a definitive place in medical education - will you miss it?  

By Asimina Pantazi