Have you ever seen those animated stories any one can create using a service called “Xtranormal?” According to the web site, “Xtranormal helps you create amazing interactive stories with a few clicks and a little imagination.”

The following funny animation about medication adherence was created using Xtranormal Movie Maker by HealthPrize, a company that markets a drug adherence program that was featured Pharma Marketing News (read “HealthPrize Teams Up with RealAge to Improve Adherence“1; use discount code hprze).

Basically, you create a script, choose characters, scenery, gestures, etc. and  “Ta-da! You’re instantly an animator, poet, pundit, educator or comic. Couldn’t be easier,” says Xtranormal.

Janssen Therapeutics — a division of Janssen Products, LP, which is part of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which in turn is a Johnson and Johnson company — is currently “piloting” a series of animations that remind me of Xtranormal scripted animations like the one above. The script for the Janssen pilot, however, comes from the patient information sheet that accompanies the prescription medicine PREZISTA® (darunavir), which is used in the treatment of HIV.

To enhance patients’ access to and use of this information, Janssen launched this pilot program — called The PREZISTA Zone (here) — designed to “transform the experience of exploring this information online through digital storytelling and animation.”

Features include the story of Jacob, a man who has just been diagnosed with a “chronic disease” (ie, HIV infection), told through a series of seven animated clips that help illustrate sections of the Patient Information (read more about this here).

Unfortunately, showing you the animations embedded in this blog post is problematic because they were created with Adobe Flash. If you have a flash-enabled browser, you’ll be able to view the “trailer” video created by Janssen. I have embedded that bit of flash code below. If, however, you are viewing the mobile version of this blog on your iPhone or iPad (two of the leading mobile devices used by physicians and by patients like Jacob), you won’t be able to see the “trailer.” You also won’t be able to view any of the animations over on the PREZISTA Zone web site.

You can see why these animations remind me of “movies” created with Xtranormal.

The following screen shot shows Jacob’s physician explaining the side effects of PREZISTA to Jacob using what might be an iPad (probably would be in the real world).

Too bad Jacob’s physician can’t show Jacob the relevant PREZISTA Zone animation. She could be attending other patients while Jacob watched the animation and then answered any questions he may have had when she returned. That would have improved her practice. But she has to go through the list of side effects just as if she were reading them from the patient information sheet. That’s what it sounds like when watching this animation, which reminds me of how the characters sound in the Healthprize animation.

Of course, Jacob has a smartphone (most likely an iPhone), which he is seen using in the following frame where he is talking to his sister about how to store PREZISTA:

“As a physician, I know from experience that people tend to learn in different ways, and that can pose different kinds of challenges for patients trying to educate themselves about their medications,” said Bryan Baugh, MD, Medical Director at Janssen Therapeutics. “We designed The PREZISTA Zone to meet a variety of personal preferences for learning and interacting with online information.

Too bad Jacob cannot “learn and interact” with The PREZISTA Zone via his iPhone!

1Healthprize is an advertising client of Pharma Marketing News but I have not been paid to mention Healthprize in this blog post.