In There Shoes, the award-winning interactive simulation program, has been announced for the first time in the Middle East with the aim of raising awareness about inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and motivating compassion for those affected.
The subscription-based program was launched using simulation technology and over a period of two days during which health care providers and Assurance Company employees effectively and comprehensively learned about the disease through the experience of patients with it.
The simulation used a mobile application, with the aim of informing participants of the daily struggles faced by people with IBD. A set of materials from the disease toolbox were used to enable participants to tackle the challenges presented by the application. These challenges were designed to simulate the physical and psychological symptoms of the disease, as participants gained valuable information and learned about the effects of IBD on all aspects of the patient’s life, including his personal and professional relationships, through the embodiment of situations and the interaction between actors who played the roles of nurses and doctors. The inclusion of some symptoms of the disease such as physical pain and interruption of daily life in the program contributed to enhancing the participants’ understanding of the suffering of patients, despite the inability of the simulation to fully represent the pain and disorders that accompany this disease.
Commenting on the topic, Dr. Toby Sheppard, Chief Medical Officer of Takeda, said: “The platform has been very successful in helping employees and healthcare professionals gain greater knowledge about IBD by living with the disease from a patient perspective. The program was developed in collaboration with immersive learning experiences experts with the aim of helping participants gain a deeper understanding of the negative impacts of IBD on a patient’s daily life, and inspiring them to explore new aspects of their work in serving people with IBD, whether in research and development, marketing or patient education. The program aims to support members of the broader healthcare community to be true advocates with a deeper emotional connection to the disease, improving the way we and our healthcare partners treat patients.”
An assessment study conducted by the University of Westminster in London, UK and published in the journal Perspectives on Psychology showed a significant increase in understanding, empathy and communication with IBD patients, and a greater appetite for awareness-raising and facilitating participation in patient support among In There Shoes participants.