LifeLabs Genetics™

Case Study

Project objective

LifeLabs performs laboratory tests, helping healthcare providers diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent diseases in patients. LifeLabs Genetics™ recently created a new pharmacogenetics test, called TreatGXPlus™ for patients.

TreatGXPlus™ is both a test and service wrapped in one, with accompanying software to help patients understand their genetic makeup’s impact on the absorption rates of their medication. The nature of this test is complex, so naturally there was the challenge of how to help LifeLabs’ customers understand these new, highly advanced tests so they can make an informed decision if this is a right fit for them. 

What was done

We used gamification theory (the idea of applying simple game mechanics to the real world) to design a VR-guided tour, illustrating how TreatGXPlus can use a patient’s genetic and non-genetic information to see how fast they absorb certain medications. 

  • This process was seen as more influential than using high-end graphics to convey the information to users. Downloading high-quality, VR-ready content can lead to long wait times and additional efforts to manage phone storage, which can be very frustrating for users.
  • Using game-style visuals , we show how pharmaceutical absorption rates differ with people because of their unique genetic makeup, what pharmacogenetics testing is, and how a patient can use this information with their healthcare provider to improve their quality of life. Using VR goggles, the user goes through this experience and is asked to interact in specific, yet simple ways. 
  • Together with the 3D animation and 360° environment, a narration further explains what the user is looking at to augment the learning experience, and, ultimately, gives a deeper understanding of the pharmacogenetics test in a simple, two-minute experience.
  • The video can be downloaded through an app and viewed on a mobile device. 


The end result

The VR-guided tour explains how some key differences in our unique genetics and metabolism respond for some types of medications. The hope is that it will encourage patients to work with their medical practitioners to better identify the medications they should take and the right dosage of medications specifically based on their genetics.