Augmented reality (AR) gained widespread attention the summer of 2016 with the addictive game, Pokémon Go. But these days, AR is not just for fun. In 2018, AR is moving beyond early experimentation into more viable business application—especially in the life sciences industry. And as AR continues to gain traction in life sciences, it will be built into core enterprise platforms, such as CRM, EMR, and content management systems. By integrating it into daily workflows, AR will transform commercial strategy in three ways.

1. Enhance Personalized Customer Engagement

AR will enable life sciences companies to innovate how they tell and deliver their value stories, as well as demonstrate the outcomes that products will deliver—even in a particular patient’s body. These demonstrations are extremely powerful, especially when unpacking complex medical concepts so customers can visualize the product in their actual environment. Customer engagement often hinges on creating an emotional connection. Using AR to spur emotive reactions such as wonder or surprise can ensure HCPs are fully engaged with the experience, which also improves comprehension and information retention.

2. Improve Understanding of Complex Treatments

With every new scientific discovery, effectively communicating complicated breakthrough therapies becomes more challenging just with words. AR technology offers a multi-dimensional way to communicate complex concepts for greater comprehension and retention. In fact, researchers agree that AR is more effective in demonstrating spatial and temporal concepts, allowing people to engage in the learning process with multiple senses for better results. For example, AR can be used to teach medical practitioners complex medical procedures, allowing them to virtually touch and manipulate objects to see the effect or practice the procedure. AR can also provide 3D on-body visualizations of how medicines or medical devices work. Think of the value of virtually demonstrating a unique delivery mechanism for a new drug to HCPs—instilling product familiarity and averting any potential apprehension.

3. Create Powerful Brand Differentiation

A powerful visual experience can showcase important attributes that are different from those of competitors’ products. Differentiation with AR could highlight better efficacy, address new uses or dosing, or build awareness by leveraging an emotional aspect of the product. Life sciences companies using AR can illustrate these distinctions in a fresh new way. Being first to market with an attention-grabbing AR experience can also strengthen brand awareness in customers’ minds. Forward-thinking companies will lead the way and provide the industry key learnings while creating broader acceptance of AR as a “killer app” with endless possibilities.

  • Arno Sosna

    Arno Sosna is General Manager, CRM at Veeva Systems. Arno is responsible for the strategic direction of all Veeva CRM products. Arno and his team ensure that Veeva delivers best-in-class products for managing customer engagement across all online and offline channels, with a focus on streamlined usability, rich functionality, and end-to-end customer success. 

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