The best of digital pharma: MS Explorer

As this year’s PM Society Digital Awards are just a few days away, we conclude our series on the best work from last year’s winners.

Digital media is opening up opportunities to take a virtual peek inside the human body, including multimedia which create rich visual illustrations of how diseases take their toll and how medicines can help.

MS Explorer was developed by Pegasus for Biogen as an innovative way of using technology to illustrate how multiple sclerosis affects patients.

The project won a gold in the awards’ Innovation category, as well as being a finalist in the Digital Solution to Congress/Symposium and Meeting category.

A novel 3D projection-based technology for use at medical congresses, MS Explorer is a visually engaging installation which has helped open up conversations with neurologists.

Communications agency Pegasus was given a brief to create an engaging platform capable of improving the understanding of MS and one of Biogen’s products among MS professionals.

The result was MS Explorer – a live, 3D projection-based technology that immerses doctors in the physiology of the disease.

Originally introduced on the exhibition stand at the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) annual conference, MS Explorer projects the content onto a live model using a combination of cutting-edge technologies.

Still and motion graphics are projected onto the model’s body using 3D scanning and face mapping. These graphics, coupled with a voiceover narration highlight key messages to the audience.

“We wanted to communicate the pathophysiology, progressive nature and disease impact of MS, as well as the mode of action and clinical data for one of our brands,” says Sameena Conning, Communications and Patient Advocacy, Biogen UK.

The software is built in a modular fashion to make it more accessible to MS professionals, letting them pick what is most relevant to their experience.

Improving dialogue among professionals

Initiating dialogue with MS professionals at congresses was a key aim in creating MS Explorer.

“Face-to-face time with neurologists is scarce, so creating a standout platform for initiating dialogue was key,” explains Conning. “MS Explorer helped us to take the audience on a journey inside the central nervous system, delivering key messages and serving as a more compelling way to communicate clinical data and product attributes.”

For Biogen, MS Explorer helped it stand out at one of the biggest neurological conferences in the country and received positive feedback from healthcare professionals.

“With a busy neurology congress calendar, we wanted to create a digital experience that could be leveraged on stand, which would cut through the noise of an exhibition hall,” explains Conning.

MS Explorer has since been used at other major neurology meetings, including the world’s largest annual international conference devoted to basic and clinical research in multiple sclerosis, ECTRIMS.

Supporting the MS community

MS Explorer is part of Biogen’s wider investment in communicating with healthcare professionals in order to help improve outcomes for patients.

This is against a background of growing demand on the UK’s health service, including record numbers of emergency admissions related to MS.

Providing support for the MS community is a long-term goal for Biogen, says Conning, and MS Explorer is just one element of its efforts to communicate the need for proactive disease management.

“It is vital that people with MS are diagnosed and eligible patients start treatment without unwarranted delay to mitigate irreversible damage to the central nervous system and slow overall disease progression.”

This year’s PM Digital Awards will be held on Wednesday, 6 September. They will feature eight effectiveness categories and five craft categories, including two Innovation awards. There will also be awards for best digital account manager and best agency digital team.

Finalists for this year’s awards have now been announced. Find out more about this year’s awards here.