Next Generation Visualization and Pharma

Next Generation Visualization and Pharma

If you've got been a gamer in your life or have seen somebody moving their head in awe with their telephone attached to goggles, you’ve probably already been exposed to a subsequent generation of knowledge visualization technologies. computer game (VR) is an immersive experience during which the user wears a tool and occludes the remainder of the environment. Although understandable, this technology can cause vertigo in some users. Augmented reality (AR) embeds virtual objects into the “real” world. PokéMon Go is one of the foremost successful recent AR efforts, requiring only a telephone with a camera to chase digital creatures. Mixed Reality (MR) is an extension of AR with the extra capability of anchoring the visualizations to things using surface mapping and other spatial technologies. Mixed reality visualizations are often pinned to a wall, counter or fixed position in space and persist across multiple user sessions.

Life happens in 3D but we use two dimensional, flat monitors to know everything from protein structures to cellular dynamics. Within the 1990s I had my first exposure to molecular visualization with a Silicon Graphics workstation and therefore the Biosym package for visualizing protein structures. This server required a fanatical room and UNIX knowledge to figure with the files. Once I attended a training workshop, I used to be struck by what percentage users were from pharma, on the other hand, realized that the earliest practical applications of molecular visualization would be in analyzing small molecule anchoring with target structures. Indeed, later within the 1990s the event of HIV protease inhibitors demonstrated the facility of rational drug design.

In his recent book tour, the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella identified mixed reality and cloud technologies because the two technologies that he thinks will have transformational effects. Facebook spent two billion dollars to accumulate Oculus VR technology. telephone companies are investing in inexpensive kits to show their devices into VR goggles and are competing aggressively to supply the simplest VR experience.

What does this mean for the pharma industry? Here are a couple of thoughts:

• Leave the monitor and mouse behind: Wearable MR and VR devices can free the user from the flat two-dimensional screen and tethered controllers. We’ve used the Microsoft Hololens to demonstrate the feasibility of straightforward data pipelines and processes to import small molecule or more complex protein structures into a mixed reality device. The Hololens may be a standalone computer and doesn't require tethering to a PC, laptop or telephone. The wearer of the device can invoke a molecule and see the structure floating within the room. A surface view is often overlaid on a ribbon view and therefore the user can peer into the inner structure of the protein. The liberty of a wearable visualization device allows the user to steer round the visual, look thereunder or above it. With moderate development effort, controls are frequently added to the visualization allowing gesture or voice-driven rotation, resizing and other adjustments.

In his recent book tour, the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella identified mixed reality and cloud technologies because the two technologies that he thinks will have transformational effects

• Change collaboration forever: Multi-user AR, VR, and MR experiences will transform collaboration. Through emerging capabilities, multiple users of an MR device can see an equivalent visualization. The users are often thousands of miles apart. With one user acting because the “driver,” a drug development team could see and discuss the molecular interactions between a ligand and its target in great detail.

• quite molecules: Other complex data that are relevant to drug development is usually visualized in two dimensions. for instance, biological pathways are traditionally presented as flowchart-like diagrams. Perhaps immersive representations of those pathways could convey a deeper meaning. As multi-billion dollar entities pharma organizations also aggregate large amounts of business data. The dashboards of the longer term are likely to include elements of those new visualization technologies to enhance understanding of market dynamics, sales performance, and other operational data.

• Expand the “mixed” in mixed reality: the mixing of complex visualizations with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is going to be a subsequent step during this journey. Connecting visualizations to databases of compound libraries will advocate new analysis and dialogue. One exciting application of Mixed Reality is the ability to pin a map to a table surface. If the map is linked through an API to a customer or sales database, MR can assist in strategic planning.

While the advantages of those transformative approaches seem intuitively obvious, they also open new opportunities for research into the cognitive responses to different display modalities. like most new technologies, it's tempting for developers to overload creative applications with features and details. Innovations in human factors and style are critical for the future success of those applications. Within the near term, next-generation visualizations are likely to supplement instead of replacing current technologies but have immense potential to rework both the scientific and business activities of pharma.

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