T-14: Engaging Patients in the Consent Process Through Virtual Reality
Solution Design Studio Manager
QuintilesIMS United States
The objective of the initiative is to redefine the informed consent process in a way that effectively engages patients to increase understanding and retention of their responsibilities and risks in the study.
We transformed an 18-page consent packet into an immersive virtual reality experience to guide patients through the potential risks and compliance standards associated with the study; we then leveraged our rapid, iterative processes to collaborate with key experts on content and legal/ethical risks.
The virtual reality informed consent experience is in its proof of concept stage and is currently considered a complementary learning tool to augment the patient experience along with a traditional informed consent packet. It has been met with high enthusiasm and received as an easy to understand and visually stimulating experience. Feedback thus far has confirmed many benefits, including a decrease in administrative costs, easy deployment and duplication, consistent messaging, and most notably, the potential for an increase in patient comprehension and retention.
The proof of concept validated that the use of virtual reality for informed consent is effective in improving patient engagement and is worth the investment to continue progressing. While the concept has been validated, we’ve learned the content should be focused on just the key information in the study i.e. procedures, side effects, and risks, rather than the entire consent packet. By focusing the content, more time in the experience can be dedicated to those impactful topics and allows for a more in-depth view. Piloting the immersive virtual reality informed consent experience in a live study is the next step to gather empirical evidence and key performance indicators. Additionally, there is a broader potential in healthcare for virtual reality that should be explored i.e. improve training investigators about a study or improve operational effectiveness for project leaders. Virtual reality shows promise to be creatively and effectively applied in a clinical research setting to resolve core challenges.