Hospital Metaverse: Building A Children’s Health Center In VR
PixelMax is building a virtual replica of Alder Hey’s radiology department designed to comfort younger patients.
A trip to the hospital can be an intimidating experience for adult patients in need of care, let alone children. It’s for this exact reason that PixelMax, an immersive communication platform, is building a “hospital metaverse” designed to comfort younger patients prior to their visits.
Earlier today, the company announced that it has partnered with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to develop a digital twin of the health center’s radiology department that patients can visit remotely using a VR headset. The hope is that by allowing children to familiarize themselves with the sights and sounds they’re likely to experience, they’ll feel more comfortable during their actual visit.
As they explore the virtual hospital, patients are tasked with collecting glowing keycards scattered throughout their environment, with each card allowing access to a different part of the hospital. Patients can also interact with different equipment such as X-Ray machines and MRI scanners to learn more about how they work, earning virtual badges in the process. The experience is an extension of ALDERPLAY, the hospital’s own digital web platform dedicated to education and entertainment.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to unveil our digital twin of the radiology department. As an NHS Innovation Scout, we are committed to developing new ways to use technology to improve the healthcare experience for everyone,” said PixelMax co-founder Andy Sands. “And this project with Alder Hey really exemplifies that spirit. By crafting our bespoke, interactive 3D world, we hope that visiting the hospital will become a lot less of a daunting prospect for young patients and their families.”
“Our objective is to use the most advanced technologies to solve real-world healthcare challenges,” added Alder Hey Innovation Clinical Director Iain Hennessey. “The quality of the virtual worlds PixelMax develops really stood out to us. It’s been a privilege to work with such a skilled team in creating such an impressive replica of our radiology department, which we hope will engage, educate and provide vital reassurance for visitors.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen immersive technology used to comfort and educate younger patients. Earlier this year, we talked about how the Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOCK) is using AR technology to walk children through the steps of a standard MRI scan.
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Image Credit: PixelMax