• Blog Post

Reimagining Patient-Centric Innovation with Virtual Reality

Publish Date

23 NOV 2022

Author

Henry Chak

Overview

Henry Chak has some thoughts to share on how VR can help deliver a timely knowledge exchange, with greater ease, and more personalization for the benefit of physicians and patients in Canada.

During multiple sclerosis (MS) month in Canada, I highlighted opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry and medical community to re-imagine a new standard of care for people with MS using Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

 

Since then, I’m happy to say we held our first-ever virtual reality external meeting at EMD Serono, Canada. After that experience, I have some thoughts to share on how VR can help deliver a timely knowledge exchange, with greater ease, and more personalization for the benefit of physicians and patients in Canada.

Metaverse Meeting of Minds

For our first VR event, we invited a few tech-enthusiast neurologists from a world-renowned MS clinic to create and imagine with us how VR technology can help deliver better care for patients as well as enhance scientific exchange and interactions.

We immersed the physicians in a virtual world through VR headsets that allowed them to transform into avatars with full functionality of their arms and fingers, like real life. For many, this was their first-time entering the Metaverse!

Throughout the event, we pushed the boundaries of the practical application of VR in the context of HCP-to-HCP and HCP-to-Patient interactions. In one segment, the Neurologists were put through a simulated MRI scan in the virtual world, followed by a robust discussion of how this application can help ease the nerves patients may have of the procedure while enhancing the experience and education.

Physicians and participants from remote locations were also brought into a virtual workroom to engage in robust scientific exchange. Overwhelmingly, the group came to the consensus that it’s unlikely any technology will replace the experience and intimacy of an in-person interaction, yet VR is by far more engaging and immersive compared to a webinar. This format can unlock applications and experiences that would be difficult to replicate even in the real world.

As the event drew to a close, it became very clear that there were several use cases that the group felt are and will be game-changing. In my mind, there is no question VR brings value and opens up new avenues to supporting patients and their caregivers.

Recently, the N&I department in collaboration with Digital Excellence team, launched the very first virtual reality (VR) meeting to imagine how VR technology can help deliver better care for patients.

Innovation is About Looking to the Future with an Open Mind

Innovation is one of the most important tools we have to help us as we continue to determine what our future virtual world looks like; not only for ourselves but also for society as we live in a world that continues to rapidly evolve. Innovation and creativity is needed for us make parallel progress within both our real and virtual worlds as we become more familiar and empowered by technological advances such as VR.

Now, it’s up to us to embrace these powerful advancements, to do even more impactful outcomes as we aspire to improve lives and journeys of even more patients and their loved ones. I firmly believe organizations like ours have a big role to in collaborating and delivering for our stakeholders along this journey.  

I hope to see you in the Metaverse!