Patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy have difficulty describing the pain to their physicians; as a result, it may be hard to diagnose the right treatment. 

Because DPN can be deeply personal and difficult to describe, we needed to create experiences that allowed physicians to empathize with patients who have this type of pain.

Virtual and augmented reality have become excellent tools for immersive storytelling and creating user empathy. We came up with simple augmented and virtual reality concepts to convey the type of pain that patients experience, which would be developed by our in-house developers using the Unity Engine:

  1. Augmented Reality Convention App: This augmented reality experience for medical conventions has attendees using tablets or phones pre-loaded with the app. Holding the device over an actor with markers on his clothes would reveal visually the kinds of pain that he is in -- burning, stinging, or tingling sensations. The monster head depicted over the actor is meant to represent that when the patient is in this kind of pain, he is not himself.
  2. Branded Google Cardboard App: We would brand Google Cardboard -- Google's virtual reality platform which uses a fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone -- as a direct mail piece for physicians. The branded cardboard VR kit would come with a companion app that allows physicians to see everyday tasks obstructed by visual representations of neuropathic pain, such as a stairway filled with burning coals.

These ideas helped win a new business pitch for the agency worth millions of dollars.