Master of Engineering Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
De Ribaupierre, Sandrine
This thesis introduces an adaptable and extensible VR framework designed for clinicians and patients using pre-existing game development software like Blender and Unreal Engine. The framework aids patients in familiarizing themselves with hospital scenarios and environments, reducing anxiety, and improving navigation. Clinicians can use the tool to educate patients and collaboratively design new aspects of the environment. A prototype implementation demonstrates the system's effectiveness, with usability studies indicating that teleport movement is preferred over sliding for locomotion and that navigation speed can improve with subsequent trials in the VR simulator. The framework's potential for enhancing patient experience and facilitating informed consent is also discussed. The research findings provide valuable insights for future VR healthcare applications while affirming the valuable future applications of the hospital framework and development workflow.
Summary for Lay Audience
This research is centered on creating an immersive and interactive Virtual Reality (VR) framework for a hospital environment designed to benefit both healthcare professionals and patients. The focus is on making this hospital as realistic and functional as possible, using the VR tool to replicate the complexities of a real-world hospital setting. For patients and their families, this VR hospital aims to familiarize them with the hospital's layout and facilities while offering patients a way to experience simulations of potential medical procedures. This helps to reduce anxiety and provides them with knowledge about the hospital environment, improving their ability to navigate within it. The unfamiliarity of hospital settings can be stressful, so this virtual tool serves as a practice run, making real visits less daunting. For clinicians, the VR tool offers a unique platform for patient education and facility design. Healthcare professionals can use the tool to explain medical procedures, teach patients about the hospital environment, and even design new aspects of the hospital in a modular fashion. This tool makes clinicians part of the design team, empowering them to create new layouts and specialized rooms tailored to their needs. The VR framework was tested through a prototype demonstration, inviting participants to explore the tool and provide feedback. These insights were invaluable in identifying areas for improvement and assessing the tool's effectiveness. The goal is to make the system user-centric, prioritizing comfort, intuitive navigation, and interactivity. This innovative VR framework holds significant potential for enhancing patient experience and facilitating informed consent. By easing navigation difficulties, reducing patient anxiety, and providing an immersive educational platform for clinicians, it may reshape interactions within healthcare environments. Beyond immediate hospital applications, the insights and methods from this research could have broad implications for future VR developments in various sectors.
Tripathi, Virat K., "A Study on the Field of XR Simulation Creation, Leveraging Game Engines to Develop a VR Hospital Framework" (2023). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 9680.
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