What do the AR/VR industry and the life sciences industry have in common? In addition to their unique benefits, both industries share one important factor: the user experience (UX) of their products affects their success immensely.

Let’s talk about what UX design has to offer companies in the AR/VR industry. How it’s already improving user experiences in the pharmaceutical industry. With more immersive and interactive experiences. Promoting brand loyalty, lead generation, and sales conversion.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are some of the hottest technologies available right now. It’s easy to see why so many industries are jumping on board with them. In pharma, they can bring complex biological materials to life with such accuracy and detail. Allowing more people to easily visualize and understand them in a way that even the most powerful microscope can’t provide on its own.

This article explores how AR/VR technology is making pharmaceuticals more accessible, with practical tips for implementing it at your own company.


The Augmented Reality (AR) industry is growing at a remarkable rate and is influencing and improving various areas of business, education, and personal life. AR has been adopted by a multitude of industries, including education, gaming, retail, and, of course, healthcare.

Pharma industry has been fast to adopt this exciting technology. Due to this pervasiveness, the Global AR in Healthcare market size was valued at $609.60 Million in 2018 and is projected to reach $4,237.60 Million by 2026.

Using AR we bring marketing materials to life, demonstrate pharmaceutical mechanism of action (MoA), and create tools for virtually exploring devices or touring R&D facilities.

Below, we explore various ways AR is currently being used to innovate the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry…

AR applications within pharma

The use of augmented reality (AR) is growing rapidly in the pharma and biotech industries, and it has already shown many advantages, such as:

  • Present content concisely and efficiently
  • Visually represent structures/mechanisms for greater understanding
  • No need for heavy equipment or physical product samples
  • Show clients that your business evolves with technology
  • Make training more interesting, efficient, and successful
  • Set apart your content from that of the competition

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AR for pharma sales offers an engaging and novel approach to presenting new drugs, products, and devices to healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the field. AR apps only require a smartphone or tablet, making them an instant, easy, and on the go sales tool. Sales representatives can use AR to allow HCPs to discover and visualize the mode of action of new therapies.

The ability to visually see structures and mechanisms allows HCPs to understand how a treatment performs in the body. The digital storytelling aspect of AR provides a seamless transition, allowing the science to be clearly demonstrated and efficiently and accurately communicated.

AR is a powerful tool to innovatively communicate to HCPs novel clinical data and trial outcomes. As well as medical procedures and treatments, in such a way that is memorable and exact. A recent study found that over 50% of physicians would want to use AR to learn about new diseases and treatments.


AR also offers the revolutionary advantage of showcasing products and devices. Without having to carry machinery or models, allowing products, prototypes, and various structures to be seen in real size (or magnified/minimized). This is extremely beneficial for use at conferences and events, where interactive product demonstrations can capture and maintain attention. In contrast, AR also works extremely well remotely.

Digitalizing communications using AR technology has been fundamental during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown restrictions, social distancing, and the inability to travel have created an even greater demand for AR due to its capacity to platform products. Without having to be there in person.

As well as product tours, AR is commonly being used for tours of buildings. AR is being used to explore new buildings, laboratories, and R&D facilities, and companies can use it to show new infrastructure to investors and clients.


The value of AR in healthcare reaches far beyond pharmaceutical marketing. Patients are becoming ever more curious regarding their medication and treatment options.

The use of 3D visuals and graphics allows complex scientific systems to be more easily understood. The deeper understanding that comes from being more engaged allows a patient to make a more informed decision on their path of treatment. This awareness helps patients become more at ease with treatments and surgeries, as well as giving them far greater knowledge of their condition.

Furthermore, patients often struggle to accurately explain and describe their symptoms to their doctors. Using AR technology, symptoms can be more easily described and understood.


AR is improving both efficiency and safety concerning machine optimization. A mistake in pharmaceutical manufacturing or engineering could be very costly or even deadly.

The stakes are high in this industry, so manufacturers need to be confident that their medical devices are built uniformly and precisely. Using AR decreases human error and allows us to maintain a high level of consistency. For example: overlaying an operating “canvas” onto a given surface, along with using visual and audio prompts. Ensuring product excellence while cutting down on assembly time.


A revolutionary use of AR is its assistance in medical procedures, surgeries, and routine tasks. AR is being used to help surgeons visualize the area on which they are to operate. Projecting 3D representations of the patient’s anatomy into the doctor’s field of view, thereby improving both accuracy and patient outcomes.

AR apps can help save lives by making it easier to locate tumors and perform minimally invasive procedures.

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The ability to train without risks is an attractive advantage to the medical world. This is particularly key for medical students who can practice and visualize concepts and techniques during their training, making them more prepared for their industry placements.


The use of AR as an interactive educational resource for students of all ages promotes science and future careers choices. It also allows scientific mechanisms and concepts to be better understood using intriguing, modern technologies. Whatever the topic or focus, AR can help bring the subject to life.

Various pharmaceutical companies fund AR projects for use in colleges and schools. By creating educational assets, companies can increase their brand awareness and encourage science and future career options.

AR is increasingly being used by medical institutes, making hands-on education available to more people.

What UX design can do for pharmaceutical companies?

Technology is a key tool in the life sciences, helping to connect workers and create a paperless enterprise. It plays a role at every stage of the product lifecycle, from development to delivery.

  • Research and development
  • Product visualization and process monitoring
  • Worker training and onboarding
  • Patient and physician education

Why AR has great potential in pharma

The most valuable aspect of this revolutionary technology is the power it has to communicate complex information through interactive imagery. If used in the right way, it can accelerate an improved learning process, whether it be for HCPs, patients, students, or investors.

Of course, there are many other uses of AR in the pharmaceutical industry and medical field, and TONIC 3 LIFE explores new possibilities every day. If you want to work with an experienced and dedicated team to create a dynamic AR experience, begin by getting in touch.

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Olívia Ignacio Apaixonada por marketing e acredito que, por meio da criatividade, da liderança e da permanente busca pela excelência, eu possa contribuir para um mundo melhor.
Team as a service, User experience, Software development.
Team as a service, IT Strategy, Software development, IT outsourcing.
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