All that fuss around VR and AR is going viral over last couple of years. Some say that’s a true advance in education, entertainment and the way brands can interact with customers. The others think of it like of a new soap bubble that will disappear in the nearest future. Or, if not, at least transform into something different.
Well, who’s right and who’s wrong then? To figure it out, let’s see first what unifies and distinguishes these technologies.
What do VR and AR have in common?
- Revolutionizing education
Except for entertainment purposes, AR and VR technologies both turn trainings upside down. They enable deep diving into the learning process, which ensures much higher effectiveness of the latter. Due to VR and AR, each learner can have more detailed look at the subject studied. And, the main point here is 3D visualization (you know, that our brain is processing visual information faster) that enables better knowledge retention over time.
- Unlimited opportunities for science
What is more, both virtual and augmented realities prove to be of a high potential in changing the scientific field, medical one included. The technologies open new possibilities for virtual surgery, remote patient diagnostics, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), phobia, autism treatment, geography and astronomy, automotive manufacturing and even military.
- New approach to brand promotion
The icing on the cake is that AR and VR are both a huge milestone in marketing. Just imagine that you as a marketer could not only deliver key-messages instantly. But that your customers could fully engage with your promo materials. Hard to imagine, huh? Some of the game-changers predict AR and VR totally change brands’ communication strategies, providing specific mobile apps, interactive print and digital aids, billboards, product packaging, displays and much more.
What makes the difference between VR and AR technology?
- Functional principle
Though they have much in common, the main point that differs AR and VR, is the technology on the background. And, as a result, user experience differs as well. This difference can be observed through the definitions actually:
- Augmented Reality stands for enhancing the real-life environment with some computer-generated elements. So, the virtual scenes are mixed with the real ones, overlaying digital details on the real world.
- Virtual Reality completely replaces the real world with a virtual environment. That means everything you see looks quite life-like, though, in fact, is just a simulation.
- Equipment needed
The second point comes out of the first one: to dive into virtual reality world, you need to use a head-mounted controller or glasses. At the same time, augmented reality mostly uses the commonplace devices like tablets, smartphones or laptops. Sure, it can be also applied through Microsoft HoloLens, though meanwhile the technology is a bit too costly to be that widespread.
How can pharma adopt virtual and augmented reality?
So, now that we’ve done with the definitions, as well as similar and diverse features, let’s proceed to the ways healthcare companies can benefit from using AR and VR.
- MEDICAL EDUCATION
First and foremost, as we’ve already mentioned before, these technologies drastically reshape pharma education. AR and VR empower students to have a closer look at human anatomy by suggesting true-to-life 3D medical illustrations. That gives a better understanding of how all the systems operate, by zooming them in and out. The following videos from Microsoft demonstrate it in details:
2. HEALTHCARE PROVISION AND PATIENTS TREATMENT
Besides, AR and VR allow for seeing the disease flow from the inside, as well as to diagnosis even remotely. For example, Bayer has used augmented reality to showcase atrial fibrillation (the most common cardiac arrhythmia) and it’s effect on human brain:
The scientists of USC Institute for Creative Technologies made use of virtual reality to create therapy tool, which helps soldiers to overcome PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The system simulates physical shock of an explosion, as a kind of the preventive therapy.
3. PHARMA MARKETING
Finally, virtual and augmented realities enable innovative drugs promotion, by presenting its mechanism of action etc. Thus, both doctors and patients can see how the medication works in an interactive 3D format:
Also, GSK has launched a touching promo campaign for their migraine-relief medication with the use of VR, which allows people to experience how it feels to live with migraine:
Well, now you can see that VR and AR are not just a distant future, they are already actively used by top-50 fortune pharma companies. And they are transforming both pharma-doctor and HCP-patient communication. Want to know how to apply those technologies into your multichannel strategy? Drop us a line and our innovation experts will be in touch soon with a live demo.