Valerie Morignat
Dr. Valerie MorignatExpert-Conseil Certifié MIT en IA et Stratégie des affaires. Designer RV/RA/RM et écosystemes numériques.

NANODYSSEY

A VR Voyage Through Nanodrugs Discovery and Delivery
The goal was to conceptualize a digital experience enhancing physicians' awareness of nanodrugs' discovery and delivery methodologies. We delivered an epic VR odyssey in nanoworlds.

Valérie Morignat | Experience Design Director

  • Project Brief
  • Nanomedicine brings revolutionary advancements in diagnostics, therapy, bioengineering, and drug discovery and delivery. Nanoscale technologies particularly impact the medical landscape with new drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles directly interacting with cellular functions.
    The request was to conceptualize a polysensory exploration of nanomedicine worlds able to memorably engage physicians. We focused on making physicians the heroes of a compelling experience and embarked them for a VR voyage through nanospace.
NANOEVENTS, INFINITE POTENTIAL

Nanotechnology offers vast horizons to medicine. Dealing with materials in the size of 0.1 to 100 nm, the technology has demonstrated superior effectiveness in a variety of contexts: diagnostics accuracy, early detection of circulating tumor cells, pathogens detection and separation, stem cell-based regenerative medicine, disease progression monitoring, therapeutics efficacy reporting, targeted imaging, better identification of tumor structures, and site-specific drug delivery.

The nanomedicine landscape additionally encompasses valuable research and therapeutic tools and devices. Biocompatible nanomaterials can enhance prosthetics adhesion, have specific therapeutic properties, and lead to tissue engineering by directly influencing cells behaviors.

Within this very rich arena of benefits, drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles particularly impact the medical landscape. The use of particles in targeted drug delivery offers new therapeutic horizons thanks to nanomaterials’ ability to directly impact the disease site, their improved solubility, and superior interaction capability with molecular and cellular functions. Nanoparticles maximize drug bioavailability with targeted delivery of small drug molecules to specific sites, and nanorobots ensure drug delivery over a specific period of time. Nanodrugs open the way to a galaxy of therapeutic outcomes.

01.

Physicians Are
VR Adopters

100% of Health Care Practitioners in our focus-group survey stated wanting to explore VR content, the two-third of whom expressed a strong interest in using VR for Continuous Medical Education (CME), Mechanism of Action (MOA) understanding, drug discovery and delivery, innovative research breakthroughs, and data and drug pipeline visualization. .

02.

Virtual Reality
Makes Real Impact

Science cognitive-based studies prove that VR is highly memorable, with a retention rate almost two times superior to any other medium. Connection with content is long lasting and educational impact superior. VR allows for a highly empowering user-centric storytelling. Rich data visualization is unparalleled and highly relevant for the project target audience.

03.

HMDs
Are AI Friendly

VR experiences are the opportunity for rich data mining allowing clients to better understand their audience needs and interests. Head Mounted Displays allow for integration of biodfeedback sensors, eye-gaze trackers, and AI-powered technologies. Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning take VR experiences to unprecedented feedback realism levels.

The Nanodyssey Experience

Nanodyssey is an immersive First Person VR experience centered on nanodrugs discovery and delivery. The user is a 'nanonaut', embarked on a voyage through nanospace in a nanoship. Surrounded with nanodrug galaxies to explore, the nanonaut is invited to teleport his ship to any given destination. The nanonaut can then fully participate in the delivery of a nanodrug, or send nano engineered devices on a mission, and observe their impact on the targeted site. The VR experience aesthetics is inspired by the cinema master pieces Fantastic Voyage (1966) and 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968).

An immersive journey from the visible scale to the nano realm's infinity, Nanodyssey invites HCPs to an active first-person exploration of stereoscopic data sets. Beyond its epic dimension, this VR gamified exploration of datasets is highly valuable to physicians. It can clarify underlying relationships and mechanisms of action, structures and textures, and lead to real-world healthcare outcomes. Using VR HMDs offers a unique and compelling opportunity to interact at nanoscales, within virtual representations of human cells and molecules, and fully understand leading-edge treatment discovery and delivery. Mechanism of Action (MOA) content is particularly important to communicate and engage physicians in the delivery of best-in-class therapies and innovative care. In this realm, VR brings superior rendering and compelling experiential approaches that tap into the proactive and inquisitive nature of HCPs.

THE EXPERIENCE BIG IDEA
Nanomedicine: A Universe With Infinite Potential

01

Epic

Extraordinary quest. Ambitious adventure. Grandiose discovery. Memorable voyage.

02

Innovative

Future-Forward. Modern. Sophisticated. Visionary. Unprecedented.

Designing For Deep Immersion and Greater Presence

While Nanodyssey is an impossible journey in the nanoscopic dimension, users’ natural immersion and sustained sense of presence are pivotal. In order to deliver a highly engaging experience, we defined VR design principles, and integrated learnings from HCP-centric ethnographic research. In our design approach, the "Place Illusion” (Slater 2009) principle prioritizes natural FOV, congruent sensory modalities, intuitive and naturalistic interactability, and depth cues. For consistency and to reinforce immersion, we opted for a diegetic approach of UI design that smoothly integrates warning signs or interactive cues directly to the world objects.  

Another priority was to design an interaction system supportive of seamless self-embodiment in VR. VE and VR research demonstrated that the perception of body ownership in a virtual world does not necessarily rely on having a virtual body (Morignat, Hyperlivings, 2009). Sense of presence is sustained as long as it remains preserved from non-diegetic stimuli and VR systemic issues (low latency, non congruence of sensory modalities, etc). To support intuitive, naturalistic and seamless interactions in VR, we focused on creating a rich omnidirectional soundscape evocative of naturalistic physical outputs. The attention to sound effect design supported the sensory substitution of physical responses with audio cues able to stimulate the sense of presence in a dimensional world that users’ can affect. Our semiotic research resulted in creating an audioscape of naturalistic and organic ambient and user-triggered sounds that seamlessly support interaction fidelity.

Designing For Prediction and Natural Feedback

Visualizing motion while not physically sensing it can trigger motion sickness. We resolved this issue in creating a repertoire of sound and visual cues that are congruent with proprioceptive and vestibular cues. We invested in two salient qualities: motion predictability and natural feedback. In order to maximize proprioception and optical flow congruence, we designed a motion vehicle that enable users to be at all time in control of their viewpoint, and very importantly of their motion within the VR environment. To avoid conflict between visual and vestibular cues, we opted for a solution that is coherent with the Nanodyssey’s diegesis: the cockpit of the nanovessel serves as a rest frame during rotative motions; teleportation is available to the nanonaut upon activation of a destination on the map. Finally, we opted for darker backgrounds to reduce flickering and minimize VR sickness.

Nanodyssey: Experience The Impossible With Great Design Principles
  • Discoverability
  • Consistent and appropriate affordances. Unambiguous indicators. Interaction feedback. Understandable mappings. Diegetic UI.
  • Consistency
  • Sensory modalities congruence. Adjusted brightness. Natural Parallax. Constant visual focus. Natural proximity. POI are within user’s FOV.
  • Fidelity
  • Users’ actions affect the environment in ways that are expectable and feel natural. Interactions are recognized rather than recalled.
  • Storytelling
  • Overarching world structure metaphor is preserved at all times. Navigation of content is facilitated by underlying plot that sustains engagement.