Cannes Lions

Via Opta Simulator


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The ViaOpta Simulator App enables Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) and caregivers to understand fully the key difficulties, problems and needs of an ophthalmic impaired patient, allowing them to empathize with their patient.

Visually and virtually showing the potential evolution of the illness, it helps patients understand what to expect in the future.

It also helps some patients who struggle to describe their disease, easily communicate and visually demonstrate their symptoms and their condition's severity to their doctor.

The ViaOpta Simulator App is an augmented reality application that allows users to quickly select an ophthalmic disease and immediately visualize it on-screen, using live video from the mobile device’s camera. Severity of symptoms can be adjusted by simply sliding right or left on the display. Medical information regarding the disease can also be accessed.


The project was conducted during a 17-week time period in the Basel area and split into four key phases, happening in parallel:

Research and sourcing of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) images, which included discussions with the Associations and Novartis Medical Experts. After the sourcing, some images had to be created and legally approved for insertion.

Design of the App with legal review and validation from Novartis.

Development of the native iPad App, which was used for the launch at the 15th EURETINA Congress in September 2015.

iPhone adaptation with submission into the App Store.

Android adaptation with submission to Google Play.

This App has been made available in six languages: Spanish, Turkish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and English. The device language is set as default.


3,500 downloads have been counted within the first five months following the App's launch at the 15th EURETINA Congress, which represents 35% market penetration with Ophthalmologists in the App’s main targeted markets: France, United Kingdom and Spain.

Novartis has received great feedback from HCPs at congresses and through sales reps on the usage of the app, and the impact that it has on both the HCP's and patient's experience. HCPs are able to use the App as a visual basis for their conversations and patients have a better understanding, and real time idea, of what to expect in terms of illness evolution.

This positive feedback has influenced Novartis to continue with its objectives of offering practicality to patients' and HCPs to ease patients' lives. Novartis has partnered with the Apple Watch to offer an even greater convenience and now wiants to adapt ViaOpta Simulator App for Google Cardboard this year.

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