The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 and dedicated to educating the public and patients and to engaging these critical stakeholders as partners in the clinical research process. CISCRP provides a variety of internationally recognized educational resources, programs and services including print and digital materials; media outreach and awareness campaigns, live educational events; study volunteer appreciation programs; patient advisory boards and custom research assessing patient health journeys and study volunteer experiences; and plain language clinical trial results summaries.
CISCRP launched the AWARE for All program in 2007, a free all-day clinical research education program that includes health screenings, informational exhibits featuring community groups and research centers, local physician and patient speakers, and a reception to honor clinical research participants. AWARE for All events have typically been hosted five times per year in communities around the U.S.
COVID-19 shut down CISCRP’s plans
COVID-19 shutdown CISCRP’s plans to host health fairs in Chicago, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Los Angeles and Miami in 2020 alone. CISCRP decided to deliver some of the program in a live webinar format, but it lacked the exhibit hall and health fair experience that was so important in connecting the public and clinical trial volunteers with medical professionals and others in the research community.
“Attendees loved being able to walk around at their own pace and come back to each exhibit after the event. By creating an immersive learning experience, the event and educational content feels customized to each visitor and remains top-of-mind. This is one of many reasons why we’ve received increased interest from new exhibitors, and we’ve seen so many new and recurring visitors since our health fair launch date.
“We’re very thankful to the team at Illumina Interactive, who we know to be extremely well versed in these kinds of cutting-edge technologies, and first saw the potential for virtual reality. They rapidly and creatively developed our first virtual exhibit hall in only five weeks – and it perfectly aligned with our goals, and surpassed expectations.”
Associate Director of Development & Community Engagement, CISCRP
A 360-degree Virtual Reality Experience
Illumina Interactive, a long-time developed and launched a 360-degree virtual reality exhibit hall experience to accompany them. We created an immersive interactive experience where participants can visit the virtual sponsor and exhibitor booths, and learn about each exhibitor by reading posters and watching short videos, downloading PDF handouts, and linking to each exhibitor’s web site and social media pages.Viewers start out in the entrance lobby, with a welcome message and banner showing all the supporters, and an avatar character who speaks a welcome message in English and Spanish.ASpeakers Room provides information about the live webinar, and a Theater offersa series of short videos about the importance of volunteer participants in the clinical research process.
“The work you’ve done to create this virtual AWARE for All event is remarkable! For me, this was just as moving as being there in person.”
– Kate (National Sponsor)
We launched the program in HTML5 to play in all standard browsers on Windows and Mac computers and tablets. It also plays on smartphones, as well as VR headsets. And we set up a back-end database and reporting system to capture data about user visits through the rooms and booths and interaction with all the booth elements.
The first virtual AWARE for All for Chicago (July 2020) had over 350 visitors to date, and Illumina and CISCRP just launched virtual health fairs for Philadelphia (September) and Raleigh (October) and are working on fairs for Los Angeles (November) and Miami (December).
“The feel of going through a room and into another and hearing the buzz of the ‘crowd’ is great! Really impressed with the number of exhibits you have for this first virtual event!”
– Jaime (National Sponsor)
“I loved this new format. Very innovative!”
Tim (Local Supporter)