McCann Health New Jersey Launches the “FROM VERY RARE TO VERY REAL” Experience

Experience Aims to Change Outcomes for a Deadly and Rare Blood Disorder

Some rare blood disorders are a life-threatening emergency that require urgent action, but for some healthcare professionals (HCPs) it’s hard to recognize and treat a disease you rarely see or experience. McCann Health New Jersey, an IPG Health company, helped develop, design, and support the launch of “FROM VERY RARE TO VERY REAL,” a virtual reality (VR) experience to help HCPs look beyond data and diagnostic algorithms, and instead actually feel like they are at the center of a real emergency. The goal of the experience is to change outcomes for a rare blood disorder, acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), that can claim 90% of lives if left untreated1 and disproportionately impacts Black communities and women.2,3 The experience aims to help HCPs gain more exposure to the disorder and the diagnosis journey a patient may go through.

“Raising awareness of this rare bleeding disorder and the inequities that can exist when receiving care is critical, and our goal is to shed light on this issue for the HCP community in a meaningful and engaging way,” said Anu Dubhashi, Sanofi, Associate Director, US HCP Marketing Lead, aTTP. “This dynamic experience allows for a deeper, richer conversation with healthcare providers that will enable them to be more prepared when it comes to recognizing and treating aTTP.”

Leading hematologists in the field have noted rapid differentiation and recognition are crucial, but protocols and general awareness to help diagnose this rare disease are lacking. Consulting with key opinion leaders, patients, and diversity advocates, McCann Health New Jersey produced a nuanced and powerful story that was then brought to life in a 360-degree live-action video production. The user-driven actions and decision-making move the diagnosis and treatment story forward and in different directions, putting HCPs at the center of this hematological emergency from three perspectives—the patient’s, the emergency room (ER) physician’s, and the hematologist’s. As the patient, you’re specifically immersed in the world of a Black woman seeking medical attention. You experience the sights and sounds of a medical emergency, and the frustration of the path that many patients encounter on their way to a rare disease diagnosis. As the ER physician, you search for clues to identify this rare, deadly disease. But you learn more than the clinical facts—the mother’s desperation and the patient’s apprehension. As the hematologist, you’re forced to pull it all together. To make diagnosis and treatment choices without the real, potentially deadly consequences.

“We designed this immersive VR experience through empathetic and experiential learning to help save lives and lead to a potentially lifesaving diagnosis,” said Bruno Abner, Chief Creative Officer, McCann Health New Jersey. “It was imperative that we made this experience as real and multi-perspective as possible, and a 360-degree production provided the best opportunity to tap into emotion and build understanding among the target audience.”

Throughout 2022, FROM VERY RARE TO VERY REAL will be rolled out to key hematologist audiences and conferences across the U.S., with larger plans to adapt it for web use so that more HCPs can access this important and potentially lifesaving content.

1 Scully M, Hunt BJ, Benjamin S, et al; British Committee for Standards in Haematology. Guidelines on the diagnosis and management of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and other thrombotic microangiopathies. Br J Haematol. 2012;158(3):323-335. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2012.09167.x

2 Azoulay E, Bauer PR, Mariotte E, et al. Expert statement on the ICU management of patient with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Intensive Care Med. 2019;45(11):1518-1539.

3 Reese JA, Muthurajah DS, Kremer Hovinga JA, Vesely SK, Terrell DR, George JN. Children and adults with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with severe, acquired Adamts13 deficiency: comparison of incidence, demographic and clinical features. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013;60(10):1676-1682. doi:10.1002/pbc.24612


About McCann Health New Jersey, an IPG Health company

Part of the IPG Health network, McCann Health New Jersey is a full-service, award-winning healthcare communications agency with nearly four decades of experience delivering fearless, groundbreaking healthcare communications to professionals and patients. With a culture of curiosity and creative excellence, the agency lives to help their client partners solve their most pressing challenges.  As the behavior-change experience agency, McCann Health New Jersey puts the science of human behavior front and center, crafting experiences specifically designed to meet people where they are, tap into motivation and drive meaningful change. Visit to learn more.