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VR: Venue Versatility

Digital booths find new life online with closure of medical congresses.

For the duration of the pandemic, healthcare congresses — normally hosting 50,000 attendees each — were shuttered. Doctors could not attend educational panels in person, resulting in the familiar trajectory of having all meetings over Zoom.  

Historically, these conferences allowed doctors and other medical professionals to learn about new research and disease awareness efforts. Interactive experiences played a large role in the education process.  

They say necessity is the mother of invention, so our team looked at public health restrictions as an opportunity to rethink in-person activities. The goal was to go live with a website where we could continue to develop compelling and educational experiences.  

A good example of taking a physical booth and re-envisioning it as a virtual booth.  

Hosted by a key opinion leader (KOL), visitors can explore a suite of presentations about a potentially serious condition. The tools for learning include:

  • scientific animations;  
  • clinical surveys/quizzes;  
  • 360° immersive video; and  
  • downloadable brochures that summarize key information on the medical condition.

Participants on the web are presented with a virtual booth, which is inspired by the original four-sided booth design. The central attraction is a virtual reality (VR) interactive activity which simulates a fictional patient’s life in the “A Day in the Life” format. If a participant doesn’t have an Oculus Quest headset available, they can experience the 360° video by click-dragging a mouse around to see the patient’s environment. You can click on items that are significant to their medical condition to get more information about them. My favorite moment is when the patient looks into a mirror and the “player” realizes they are seeing themselves as a 65-year-old man. The 360° activity can also be experienced through a mobile device by looking around in “Magic Window” mode, which makes the device’s screen act as a portal into another world.

Fortunately, healthcare conferences are being planned as the world starts opening up again. This is great news for our in-person interactive projects — but with the positive feedback about our web-based content, we expect to continue to build out parallel experiences. That way doctors and other professionals who are not able to travel for whatever reason can still enjoy, learn, and share the content.

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