A Life in a Day’s creative team has recently launched a new immersive experience – eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). For the duration of your experience, you will wake up, go to work, socialise with friends, spend time with family, and go to bed as normal – however, you will live with EoE as you do so. Creative director Paul Gascoigne talked about the creation of experiences and how he personally benefitted from the programme.
As part of the interview with Paul Gascoigne, Creative Director of A Life in a Day described the intense process of developing a new EoE experience, from the emotional intensity of interviewing patients though to the creative pressure of translating that into a journey that is impactful and practically possible.
How did you decide to create an immersive experience about EoE?
Eosinophilic esophagitis – or EoE – was chosen as the subject for one of our latest A Life in a Day programmes to both expand our gastroenterology experience offering and to highlight a chronic condition that has remained little known until very recently.
Did you personally go through the experience? What were your emotions after?
Despite being heavily involved in creating A Life in a Day with EoE, my emotional response after experiencing the programme in full for the first time was disbelief that so many patients have lived through so much discomfort for so many years, before receiving a diagnosis and effective treatment. It also made me very aware of how I chew and swallow my food.
How do you ensure the patient voice is truly reflected?
During the research phase of developing the EoE programme, a diverse range of patients were interviewed to provide us with all the insights we needed to begin telling the story of how they live with the physical and emotional impacts of the condition. Members of the healthcare community, including primary care doctors, gastroenterologists and clinical nutritionists were also interviewed to provide both medical accuracy and a healthcare provider’s perspective.
How long did it take to create the experience?
Each A Life in a Day experience takes approximately six months to create. The process begins with extensive research and interviews to unearth insights that enable the creation of an authentic patient story. Then follows the creative phase in which these insights are brought to life as both physical and emotional impacts of living with the condition, through our interactive app, role-plays and a bespoke kit of physical ‘props’.
As part of its creation process, the team focuses on disease’s emotional impact. An example would be how a condition may affect a person’s normal life, their relationship with a spouse, children, family members, or how these changes affect their work career as well as their daily routines.
It is helpful with driving empathy for our patients. These patients really are deeply affected by EoE”
During the experience, what should participants expect?
Participants in A Life in a Day with EoE can expect to experience the challenges, choices and impacts that patients living with the condition face every day. Key to this experience feeling “the fear of every bite” as participants simulate difficulty in swallowing food, which is the major long-term impact of the disease.
By compressing a patient journey of years into just 24 hours, participants discover what it is like to be diagnosed, undergo treatment, and learn to live long-term with the disease.
How can we make it as real as possible to simulate what patients told us?
In simple terms, by listening to them and trying to be as authentic as possible to the stories and insights they share.
Have you found any similar experiences?
With EoE being a newly recognised condition, there do not appear to be any similar experiences. Making A Life in a Day with EoE unique.
What were the first impressions of the first ‘run’ of this immersive challenge?
Truly empathy building experience. Very creative in bringing the patient experience to life. Thank you,”