TEDx 2015: A Window onto Another World" – Virtual Reality for Hospital Rehabilitation

Great Hall, Aston Webb
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Lectures Talks and Workshops, Students
Saturday 21st March 2015 (10:00-16:30)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)
Ticket price: £20 (£14 students)

Project REVERE (REstorative Virtual Environments for REhabilitation) is an ongoing collaborative project involving the University of Birmingham’s Human Interface Technologies Team and clinical teams at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, also in Birmingham (QEHB).  

The research, which commenced in 2011, aims to investigate the impact of virtual reality reconstructions of real-world rural and coastal scenes on patient mental and physical rehabilitation outcomes.  

The research was originally stimulated by 1980s research which demonstrated the positive effects on post-operative recovery resulting from patients’ through-window exposures to natural scenes – trees, gardens and the like.  

More recent developments in Japan, particularly with studies of Forest Bathing (Shinrin-yoku) confirm the importance of nature on health generally and restoration of health specifically.  Unfortunately, for many urban hospital ward locations, the views onto the real world are rather unattractive.  Within the QEHB’s ICU, for instance, many patients have no direct visual contact with the outside world at all, nor do they have a sense of the time of day.  

Speaker Bio:

Professor Bob Stone is the Director of the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team at the University of Birmingham. A Chartered Psychologist, Bob joined academia in 2003, after a long and successful career in defence, robotics, surgical simulation and Virtual Reality (VR). He was involved in defence human factors research with British Aerospace for 9 years, including underwater technology projects for the offshore oil and gas industry, the nuclear industry, NASA and the European Space Agency.

For over six years, Bob was the Research Director of the UK’s Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre, where many of his team’s serious games and VR-based projects originate, with notable successes in developing simulation and VR training systems in such fields as submarine safety and telerobotics for counter-IED activities.

More recently, Bob’s research has focused on military healthcare applications, supported by the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. An Honorary Cossack and Academician of the Russian International Higher Education Academy of Sciences His VR, Human Factors and robotics work has received numerous awards, including, uniquely, three from the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors, and the MoD Chief Scientific Adviser’s Commendation in 2011 for his contribution to science and technology in defence.

Currently, two REVERE Systems are undergoing trials within the Intensive Care Unit of the QEHB, based on “through-the-window” virtual reality reconstructions of two rural sites in South Devon – the South West Coastal Path at Wembury and Burrator, within the Dartmoor National Park.  Another system is being prepared for evaluation within a Gloucester-based Dementia Care Home.