What can you do with a plain old cardboard box? Google seems to have the answer. CNN recently featured a story about a baby who was born with a life-threatening heart and lung defect that doctors had never seen before.
With the help of Google Cardboard, a toy-like cardboard device retailing for less than $20 online, a team of surgeons was able to observe a 3D image of the baby’s heart from various angles - different from what can be viewed on a regular computer screen. The ability to virtually rotate around and examine the heart from every angle allowed the doctors to map out a surgical repair which ultimately saved her life. This new tool is the latest example of the potential for virtual reality technology to have a meaningful impact on the future of healthcare communication and education, and actual medical practice.
Viscira, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions and software products for the life sciences industry, has long recognized this opportunity and has been capitalizing on these advancements by offering innovative VR solutions for its clients that communicate healthcare information in very personal and immersive ways. One recent example was the development of a VR solution for a client using the Oculus Rift to simulate the impact of schizophrenia on a patient.
Donning the Oculus Rift goggles, a healthcare professional, caregiver or other user becomes completely immersed in a 3D environment that offers a full visual and auditory experience of what it might be like to be a schizophrenic patient. The intent with this simulated experience is for the user to develop more empathy for the patient and the various life challenges they face. This in turn helps to reinforce the need for active, consistent patient support and ongoing medication adherence, among other patient success factors (see accompanying video).
The company also recently deployed an engaging VR exhibit for a newly approved, novel medication for patients with high cholesterol. This interactive experience for a top-five biotech company focused on how this innovative therapy works in the body in combination with other cholesterol-lowering medicines, like statins, to further lower LDL levels.
Previously, Viscira also developed a virtual reality exhibit called “EyeMac” that enabled physicians to simulate the experience of having neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Physicians used special goggles to immerse themselves in several virtual scenarios from a first-person, patient perspective.
Dave Gulezian, President & CEO of Viscira, commented on the use of VR for developing innovative digital solutions for its clients. “From early in our company’s development, we recognized the potential for VR technology to change the way we communicate healthcare information, and educate healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers. Our ongoing focus on utilizing [the] latest VR technology, from inexpensive solutions like Google Cardboard, to the Oculus Rift, enables us to continue to provide unique and differentiated products for our industry.”
Viscira’s virtual and augmented reality solutions are just one example of many innovative, interactive software applications and digital solutions the company offers. Viscira’s strategic approach, combined with its delivery of cutting-edge products, has resulted in an impressive roster of industry-leading clients, including Genentech, AbbVie, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Lilly.