An exclusive interview with Pharma Times Editor, John Pinching, revealed the story of how A Life in a Day founder Mark Doyle turned his acting background into a truly innovative program.
Mark Doyle, founder of A Life in a Day, agreed that his background is slightly unusual for the pharmaceutical industry.
“I started my career as an actor. The company behind A Life in a Day is The Method which is delivered from method acting. We began in the early 1990s. I was an actor. My business partner John was a writer, director and we had a theatre and a film company which we ran for many years. However, in the early 2000s, we decided to diversify a little bit and see how else our creative skills could be applied. As a result, we started The Method in 2004”.
The company’s goal was to use creative expertise to develop interesting, innovative, and immersive learning experiences.
A patient-centric approach to immersive learning in the pharma industry
In 2015 clients approached The Method wanting to create an experience that was centred around the patient. The term ‘patient centricity’ was in its infancy and pioneers in the industry were looking for ways to truly deliver this among their teams.
“We’re really committed to doing it. Our client had this fantastic concept. They wanted to get their people to walk in a patient’s shoes for up to 24 hours. They basically brought us in to help us develop this concept and bring it to life.”
As a result, the team became incredibly involved in the project, adding The Method’s theatrical flair to the experience through immersive elements such as role-plays and kit items to interact with. Eventually it turned into A Life in a Day.
“Our clients are not only open to it, but also actively seeking ways to become more patient-focused, to better understand their patients. That desire is authentic and genuine”, said Mark.
Living the life of a patient is an incredibly impactful experience
Being in the patients’ shoes is an absolutely different experience than hearing about their condition from the patients themselves.
“In every industry, we should listen to the voices of patients. Spending just a day in a patient’s shoes gives you an entirely unique perspective”, added A Life in a Day’s founder.
The key of creating a meaningful experience – Patients!
“We talk to patients endlessly. We also talk to carers, family members and healthcare professionals to make sure we get accuracy. And then of course, everything is checked with our client partners as we develop a program.”
Mark explained that experience is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their viewpoint.
“We consider more than just the physical and clinical aspects of the condition even experience lasts for 24 hours”.
The most creative project
It was Mark Doyle’s honest opinion that A Life in a Day was by far the most creative project he has ever been involved with.
As the founder says, creating or being a part of something that impacts patients so directly is an incredible experience.
Currently, the program has been implemented in 55 countries. Worldwide, many of the programs have been translated into multiple languages.
Rather than discussing the disease itself, A Life in a Day is about what it is like to live with a particular condition every day.
“Participants must be able to integrate the experience into a patient’s life from the very beginning. We did not want to create an experience where you stop what you are doing, experience what it is like to be a patient and then go back to normal life.
Immersive experiences are about building empathy, building understanding, and then converting this into action, which is the most important thing.