EUSA Pharma and Vue Health  

Escape the Castle

Even for rare diseases, idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD) is unusual, with fewer than 1,000 people diagnosed in the U.S. each year. To educate providers about the disease and how Sylvant can help, the team came up with an idea one participant said was “more fun than a trip to Universal Studios.”

In a play on the disease’s name, it built a castle at the 2019 annual Meeting & Exposition of the American Society of Hematology, turning it into an Escape Room game. Because the disease is so difficult to diagnose — it mimics cancer as well as some autoimmune diseases — providers had to pass three hurdles, gaining clues from a patient report, a jigsaw puzzle and a microscope challenge.

While the gamification was plenty of fun, it also drove home the severe nature of iMCD, which is typically misdiagnosed and treated ineffectively. The team realized that while specialists constantly get presentations and webinars from pharma companies on disease states, it’s usually not until a patient has a problem. This booth was designed to attract attention to the condition immediately.

Our judges liked the clever take on the disease name, “and finding a creative way to pull that into the campaign. The team also combined experiential learning and gamification in a way that was challenging and fun. Breaking through the noise at a congress is really hard, so this is impressive.”

Over three days, 163 participants went through the experience, spending an average of nine minutes in the escape room. But more importantly, people stayed to engage with the Sylvant salesforce for an average of seven minutes after the experience.