The immersive world aims to empower child patients with confidence ahead of key hospital visits
Event technology service firm PixelMax has developed a bespoke metaverse for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the company announced on Wednesday.
The new immersive environment aims to reassure child patients ahead of their radiology visits, namely in an effort to reduce delayed and cancelled appointments, the company explained.
Citing figures from the National Health Service (NHS), PixelMax said missed appointments cost healthcare services £162 million and waste roughly 40 hours of clinical time each month, reducing treatment availability for patients.
According to the Manchester-based firm, the 3D replica of the radiology department will provide users with immersive experiences, where patients can view and interact with specialist devices such as virtual badges, X-Ray machines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, and other tools.
The department replica is one of many experiences added to ALDERPLAY, the hospital’s digital playground designed for child patients. The interactive world aims to familiarise, distract, and reward children using the platform and is accessible via a weblink across devices.
Andy Sands, Co-Founder of PixelMax, said in a statement that the project with Alder Hey would demonstrate his company’s commitment to innovating technologies to improve healthcare experiences.
The executive of the NHS Innovation Scout added,
“[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”
Ian Hennessey, Alder Hey Innovation Clinical Director, added his institution’s objective was to use top-rated technologies to “solve real-world healthcare challenges.”
He explained further, stating,
“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”
The news comes after PixelMax developed a similar project for patients at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, as well as a bespoke UEFA Women’s Champions League Final virtual world.
Numerous companies have begun building their own solutions for patients across treatment options such as mental health, post-surgical treatment, and to treat progressive illnesses.
VR firm Hatsumi recently shared its experiences on mental health, which led to the firm’s journey for funding with the NHS and its novel solution which uses TiltBrush to allow patients to draw their personal experiences to curate and interact with others.
Pharmaceutical firm Roche also inked a partnership with VR cognitive trainer developer Virtuleap to tackle Alzheimer’s and dementia via its ‘Building Together Tomorrow’ programme.