Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

Pharma Companies Missed the Opportunity to Use Augmented Reality and Medicine Packaging

Augmented reality offers umpteen possibilities in healthcare – we just recently wrote about 9 great use cases of it in an article. But there’s one..

Augmented reality offers umpteen possibilities in healthcare – we just recently wrote about 9 great use cases of it in an article. But there’s one area we did not touch there for a reason: medicine packaging. This unorthodox approach to product communication could be one of the easiest ways to enhance patient satisfaction, educate and help people and, at the same time increase customer loyalty. And with the widening number of smartphone applications actually using this technology, it is getting more affordable by the day.

So why are pharmaceutical companies missing out on this excellent resource?

Augmented reality in healthcare


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Instructions for use

Medicines are the most commonly used practice in healing. How to take medications is usually explained by the practitioner or the pharmacist, however, reading product information is recommended to everyone before taking medication. Clear instructions on the use increase medication adherence, that is why we find detailed information leaflets in all drog packagings. But we don’t read these.

Pharma companies are obliged to provide detailed product information with identifying the medication and instruct on use. It is their responsibility that patients understand how to take their medicine. People not reading the drug product description adds to the non-adherence and jeopardises the efficacy and the safety of the therapy and the healing process. And yet, it is estimated that in about 50% of cases people don’t take their medications as prescribed or recommended. In fact, non-adherence is said to contribute to around 125,000 deaths each year in the United States only.

The Jack Daniel’s AR Experience

Augmented reality is already used in other industries – not extensively, but still, creating memorable campaigns, giving an enhanced product experience, engaging, educating and increasing loyalty (Fanta’s launching AR campaign stood out among these for example). Through the technology, users experience enhancements to the physical world around them, making it especially appealing for younger generations. 

All it takes is a QR-code (in any format) on the packaging that interacts with the AR app on the user’s smartphone, and the app links the real world with the virtual.

As the total spending on AR and VR was about USD 12 billion in 2020 globally, it is about to rise sharply, reaching an estimated USD 72.8 billion by 2024 – all in all the technology is set for takeoff. And pharmaceutical companies won’t want to miss that train.

Augmented reality in pharma – high hopes for intelligent interactions

So the benefits of enhancing product descriptions and making reading instructions more “fun” are clear for pharmaceutical companies. Lengthy descriptions with those tiny letters in endless rows aren’t too inviting–at the same time, it is also important that there is no need to develop additional technology for creating an AR patient experience. Smartphones are practically a given, QR codes are easy to make. All it takes is a bit of creativity to make AR in pharma packaging work.

So why have pharmaceutical companies not used the opportunities provided by AR so far?

Immertia prototype demo

A small Australian company has created a prototype AR packaging for Bayer to showcase what is possible with the technology. To create a demo similar to the one below took the team roughly two weeks, creating product descriptions, explanations in English and Spanish, and adding relevant commercials as an extra feature. But it’s not only for marketing.

AR technology on drug packaging has countless benefits, not only for patients. The technology could also help general practitioners get to know novel medications better, educating healthcare professionals in an engaging and supportive manner. 

Augmented reality solutions have huge untapped potential for pharma. We believe focusing on patient education next is a good step forward for pharmaceutical companies. AR can do that – immerse in it.

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The post Medicine Packaging And Augmented Reality: A Missed Opportunity For Pharma Companies appeared first on The Medical Futurist.


By: Judit Kuszkó
Title: Medicine Packaging And Augmented Reality: A Missed Opportunity For Pharma Companies
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Published Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 09:00:00 +0000

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