An Immersive Virtual Reality Mock-Up for Design Review of Hospital Patient Rooms

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0605-7_15 In book: Collaborative Design in Virtual Environments, pp.167-176


Full scale physical mock-ups of specific hospital units such as patient rooms are routinely utilized to serve the multiple
purposes of constructors, designers, and owner stakeholders for healthcare facility projects. The shortcoming with this practice
is that the mock-up is constructed during the construction phase and is of limited use for making extensive decisions regarding
the functionality of the room design. Three-dimensional visualisation tools offer healthcare facility stakeholders the opportunity
to comprehend proposed designs more clearly during the planning and design phases, thus enabling the greatest influence on
design decision making. While several options exist, based on their experience with a bariatric patient room model, the authors
promote the utilization of Virtual Reality mock-ups for design review because of their enhanced capacity for an immersive,
interactive experience with the design and for the long-term utility of such models for the balance of the project life cycle.


Available from: Phillip Sherwood Dunston
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    • "Many changes in the design of the train were made on the basis of the feedback made in the CAVE. Dunston et al. (2007) described the use of CAVE in producing a virtual hospital patient room. A pilot test, in which nurses were introduced to the CAVE environment, was made. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies indicate that virtual reality (VR) systems are useful for end-user participation in an environmental design process. However, these systems can be costly and thus support for the decision whether to invest in a VR of some type is useful. This study presents a novel method for analysing the usefulness of a VR system for the purpose of end-user participation. We collected qualitative end-user opinion data in the real environment and then contrasted this data with the capabilities of a VR system. Additionally, to better understand the capabilities of the VR used, we examined how the end-users perceive the used virtual environment, which in this case was CAVE, an immersive VR system where projectors are directed to the walls of a room-sized cube. In this way, we analysed whether the same functions and elements identified by end-users on the actual wards could also be evaluated in the CAVE. Eleven nurses and 11 patients participated in the study by evaluating a bathroom and/or four patient rooms modelled by the CAVE and the actual hospital wards. The CAVE was convenient for evaluating most issues identified by the study participants in the actual hospital wards, i.e. aesthetics; correct location of equipment, supplies and materials; distraction by or the good companion of other patients as well as window position and size and living/workspace. However, it was not possible to evaluate with full certainty the possibilities for bracing against grab bars or other objects in the VR, and this was found to be relevant to the independent functioning of patients with limited mobility. Also, due to the relatively low luminance levels of projectors, evaluations regarding lighting were considered unreliable. Moreover, end-users were not always certain about the sizes and sufficiency of space in the CAVE. Solutions to overcome these limitations were proposed. KeywordsVirtual reality-CAVE-Patient room design-End-user participation-Collaborative design
    Virtual Reality 09/2010; 14(3):197-211. DOI:10.1007/s10055-009-0138-x · 0.67 Impact Factor

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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present outcomes from Finnish HospiTool project that introduces an interac-tive user-oriented approach to health facility planning, construction and renovation. Tools were developed that enable end user participation in the planning through evaluation of hospital spaces in order to match the spaces with user needs and requirements. The plans were first presented by making use of new visualization technologies. Solution for 3D model embodies two virtual reality environments -Computer Aided Virtual Environment (CAVE) and in VTT's Lumeviewer, a lightweight visualization client for personal computers. Then the user feedback was developed to be user requirements in EcoProP systematic requirements manage-ment tool. The feedback from Virtual reality was also compared to interviews in existing hospitals. Evidence Based Design (EBD) has considered in this research.
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