Pioneering Virtual Reality = Pharma Marketing Success

By Laura Wyant

Alimera Sciences created ILUVIEN to help patients suffering from Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), a common condition for diabetics. ILUVIEN eliminates the need for monthly eye injections, but also relieves the pain that patients subsequently suffer.

Despite the evident advantages of ILUVIEN, data suggested that healthcare providers were slow to adopt, so Pascale conducted research to better understand the physician-decision journey.  We learned that doctors were uncomfortable with ILUVIEN because they could not visualize its mechanism of action.  As much as you can describe, intellectually, the theory behind an implant that delivers a continuous micro-dose, it is complex and the existing sales aides were too abstract to provide medical professionals the information needed.

 
Above: ILUVIEN delivering continuous micro-dosing

Above: ILUVIEN delivering continuous micro-dosing

 

In order to help doctors better understand ILUVIEN, the insertion procedure, and the product’s unique and efficacious drug delivery, Pascale strategically aligned with Confideo Labs, pioneers of immersive multimedia across pharma and life sciences, to harness virtual reality (VR). Collaboratively, Pascale and precisioneffect crafted a storyline, and Confideo Labs designed and developed a highly engaging VR experience that took doctors into the eye to effectively demonstrate how ILUVIEN works.

Above: AAO attendees experience ILUVIEN in a whole new way

Above: AAO attendees experience ILUVIEN in a whole new way

The teams rolled out the VR media on premium Samsung Gear VR headsets to engage physicians at one of the biggest annual ophthalmology meetings, AAO, in order to increase foot traffic to the booth and give doctors a chance to experience ILUVIEN.  The VR experience contrasted greatly with traditional sales materials, and the effects on engagement were dramatic. Following the overwhelming success of the initial conference tactic, Alimera Sciences deployed at Hawaiian Eye and other conferences, plus they commissioned Confideo Labs to secure, brand, and deliver Gear VR kits to each of their sales representatives, making the company amongst the industry’s first to activate field reps with VR hardware and dynamic engaging VR media.

Above: Custom Premium Gear VR Kits to activate National Field Reps

Above: Custom Premium Gear VR Kits to activate National Field Reps

“Just looking at [the information] in a brochure is pretty boring and benign, but when you actually look at it in an environment where you're totally immersed and there's no distractions, it’s incredibly powerful,” John Fitzpatrick, VP of Engagement for precisioneffect.

Recently, healthiAR published a piece about the advantages of adopting VR to enhance healthcare marketing initiatives, and highlighted our ILUVIEN success story.

“VR represents an unparalleled opportunity to optimize storytelling, deepen education, and elevate engagement of critical medical media and scientific content,” said Mike Marett, Founder of Confideo Labs.

Pascale was thrilled to partner with industry leaders and an innovative customer to tap an emerging new media trend to amplify the ILUVIEN story across channels. Although the media is optimized for Gear VR, one can get a sense for what doctors are engaging at conferences and via the ILUVUEN field force here.  

Erin LaFavor