Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s new Infusion Center, located in Hartford, features an interactive technology experience allowing patients to create their own avatar, also called a pathfinder, and explore another world during infusion treatments. The experience, called “Wilderverse,” was designed and developed by Dimensional Innovations. The general contractor was C.E. Floyd Company, and the architect was Tecton.
Hospital management had the challenge of creating an experience that was appealing to patients of all ages, from young children to teens, that had engaging game-like qualities to not only hold the patient’s interest for an extended amount of time, but was also something they could easily return to as most patients have to visit the infusion center several times.
Dimensional Innovations’ solution was the creation of an interactive game that allows patients to easily access a website on a phone or tablet to create a custom avatar that they can send out into a virtual outdoor world. It can be seen on multiple curved digital OLED displays in the center of the treatment area, designed to have a large tree-like feel.
Depending on how the patient is feeling, they can keep their curtain open to see the large displays in the center of the facility, or if they need more privacy, they can still view the experience on the monitor within their room.
The design incorporates nature settings, including a campfire, castle, waterfall, large flower pods and a ship scene. Patients can choose from three different custom-created avatars (a “gerbit,” fantasy horse or “treebot”) and customize its features. The more the patient interacts with their avatar, the more accessories become available, including things like wings, fire and a unicorn horn.
“We worked with the care providers and patient families to create a space to promote a change in a patient’s mindset from ‘I’m stuck in here because I’m sick’ to ‘I’m on a journey of healing,” said Karri May, manager of planning, design & construction for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
There is a growing pressure on hospitals to create a welcoming and engaging experience for patients and their families. Incorporating technology beyond the procedure room and into the entire hospital and treatment experience has benefited patients and staff, alike.