VR: What Can Healthcare Learn From Consumer?

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Brandchannel runs a must-read column 5 Questions, a highly intelligent Q&A feature that covers various branding and marketing issues. Recently, they asked Gareth Price, Technology Director of Ready Set Rocket, and Dominic Leung, Senior Director of Strategy for InterbrandHealth, about the future of VR in Healthcare.

Some key insights included insights into what the healthcare sector can learn from the consumer sector:

Said Price: “Virtual reality is a great marketing tool—it has a huge novelty impact factor and helps brands position themselves as cutting-edge and technologically advanced. On the consumer side, headset adoption is low and will remain low until costs come down and headsets work with smartphones—rather than high-powered PCs.”

Price continued: “We’d recommend that health brands focus on creating experiences for consumers that highlight the values they wish to present: quality of service or technological advancement. The empathy that VR provides can also put patients into scenarios where they can experience the surgery they are about to go through or be exposed to phobias that will prepare them for difficult healthcare situations.”

Said Leung: “Taking this a step further, healthcare brands can look at how consumer brands are using VR in the context of the overall customer journey. VR is a great tool for generating ways to engage with consumers, even when the brand is not top of mind or relevant. Making these subtle connections throughout the entire customer journey strengthens the brand experience, shifts behaviors and engenders new interactions.”

“On the flip side, consumer brands can also take a page from healthcare brands’ playbooks, specifically, how they use VR in high-end clinical settings. Here, VR plays a role not only for experiential reasons but to reinvent the category. We can look at recent studies around VR-based treatment for obesity and binge-eating disorders. This modification of body awareness is leading to a whole new approach to behavior change, called experiential cognitive therapy. It’s exciting to see how brands, regardless of category, will redefine our landscape.”

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