Pharma > Pharma Communications to Healthcare Professionals

WHAT ARE YOUR PATIENTS HOLDING BACK?

CDM NEW YORK, New York / ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS / 2017

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Overview

Credits

Overview

Audience

We designed our experience to resonate specifically with healthcare practitioners who are intimately familiar with the care of patients with Parkinson's disease, including neurologists, psychiatrists, movement disorder specialists, primary care physicians, LTC physicians, and nurses. Neurologists and psychiatrists were the primary targets, as their awareness was the lowest.

BriefExplanation

BriefWithProjectedOutcomes

U.S. medical, legal and regulatory practices stipulated that no references to available treatments could be made in our campaign, and clinical accuracy within the field of Parkinson's disease psychosis dictated that the virtual experiences leverage the most frequently described hallucinations and delusions.

CampaignDescription

Provide healthcare professionals with a firsthand account of what it’s truly like to live with Parkinson’s disease psychosis, defined by hallucinations and delusions. We set out to create an interaction that would allow doctors to literally see through the eyes of their patients. The "What Are Your Patients Holding Back?" campaign is an immersive virtual reality experience designed to establish a visceral connection between physicians and patients. By transforming anecdotal accounts of hallucinations and delusions into terrifying, revelatory experiences, we aspired to equip physicians with an unparalleled entry point to empathize with the true nature of the disorder. The latest in the series features a choir of faceless children who appear in the back yard and end up waking the user in the middle of the night with a hauntingly discordant nursery rhyme.

Execution

A total of 4 virtual reality experiences were created to provide healthcare professionals with a visceral account of what their patients with PDP deal with daily. We created a disturbing and realistic 3-D experience of what PD hallucinations and delusions look and sound like. These experiences were optimized for 2 virtual reality platforms. With each scenario, doctors could look at the world from the perspective of a person living with PDP to experience symptoms firsthand. Each environment was created through CGI, using images, sound effects, and music to tell our story. The virtual reality experience “Choir” debuted on the Oculus Rift headset at neurology and psychology conventions in April 2016. Later that year, it was optimized for the Google Cardboard platform, so that the experiences could be hand-delivered by sales representatives at physicians’ offices. Overall, hundreds of doctors have engaged with the experience and expressed new appreciation for the disease.

Outcome

Since the launch of the campaign, unaided awareness of PDP has increased from 29% to 61%. Since the launch of Google Cardboard, exposure to PDP information has gone from 24% to 61%. Twenty-five percent more MDs and 30% more psychologists now recall that PDP is a serious and challenging condition that is often unrecognized.(1,2) Since April 2016 and March 2017, 13% of target physicians have changed their minds and believe that it is important to intervene before symptoms of PDP become severe.(3) The experience was even published in Neurology in 2016 and characterized as a “Novel and effective educational tool.”(4)

References:

1. Awareness, Trial, Usage Report. Acadia Pharmaceuticals. December 2015.

2. Awareness, Trial, Usage Report. Acadia Pharmaceuticals. August 2016.

3. Awareness, Trial, Usage Report. Acadia Pharmaceuticals. April 2017.

4. Goldman J et al. “Experiencing Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis via Virtual Reality Simulation: A Novel and Effective Educational Tool.” Neurology. April 2016.

Strategy

Raise awareness about the prevalence of the disease (~50% or more of PD patients eventually develop some form of psychosis); increase the demand for HCPs to start the conversation with their patients (only ~10%-20% of patients talk about their psychosis); and do so in a manner that didn’t offend HCPs by suggesting they were doing something wrong. The result was the disease-state education campaign focused on “What Are Your Patients Holding back?”, which leveraged traditional and digital media to educate, and used new virtual reality technology to place the HCP into the minds of patients, to truly experience the progressive and debilitating nature of the disease for both patients and caregivers.

Synopsis

Fifty percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease develop symptoms of psychosis; however, awareness of this comorbid condition was minimal, and many doctors who knew about the issue didn’t believe that it is was a significant problem. In addition, many patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP) were afraid to talk about it. Given the lack of understanding about PDP and the urgency to uncover and diagnose the symptoms, it was critical to raise awareness, since a new treatment could eventually become available. This campaign was developed prior to and in concordance with the launch of the first treatment for PDP, and represented a new audience for ACADIA Pharmaceuticals.

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