To improve the health industry and to support medical staff, ellicom and OVA are collaborating with Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital network, to provide health professionals with a virtually optimized and immersive stress-reducing program to help prevent burnout—an increasing challenge in this highly stressful environment.
Together, using StellarX, ellicom and OVA, have developed a contextually adaptive immersive space that combines guided meditation with virtual reality to reduce stress levels and foster a healthier working environment. This research study is currently in progress.
A meditative escape
Teamwork for dreamwork
To help health professionals reduce their stress levels, we collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of practitioners, which includes Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Cardiologists, and Human Resource professionals to design three distinct virtual reality relaxation experiences that would be readily accessible in the Intensive Care Unit and Palliative Care Unit of North Shore University Hospital (Northwell Health).
The relaxation experiences were designed in an adaptive way to suit the varying needs of each individual. Using our technology, StellarX, our team created three different immersive Spaces that would set the scene for a meditative escape that involves guided breathing.
The Mountain Marvels
The Mountain Marvels Space offers a relaxing forest landscape with summit views and an awe-inspiring horizon. The mixed forest of coniferous and deciduous trees paired with the spatialized nature sounds brings the Space to life in a delightfully soothing way.
The Tropical Island
The Tropical Island Space is a visual getaway in itself. The white sand beach surrounded by a sea of turquoise waters is simply stunning and soothing. The spatialized wind audio rhymically plays to the tune of the palm tree leaves swaying, and the ocean sounds move as the gentle waves brush upon the sandy shoreline.
The Lakeside Shores
The Lakeside Shores Space evokes calm and inner peace in an environment that rhymes with good vibes. The wooden dock, a red canoe and adirondack chair, are sure to bring back good memories while the gentle wind whirrs amidst the leafy Birch trees.
To ensure each Space is optimal for relaxation and the disconnection required to focus on themselves, we created Spaces that could be easily and individually customized according to personal preferences. For instance, too many trees may feel slightly overwhelming to some, but relaxing to others. And, while one person may appreciate the soothing wind sounds, another may find it annoying. Therefore, ensuring that each Space could be personalized was key to reducing the stress levels of medical professionals.
In addition, we collaborated with our partners at Ellicom to integrate guided meditation and breathing exercises to the Space so that health professionals could learn to integrate breathing and relaxation exercises to their day-to-day practice.
To measure the efficiency of our experiences, professionals were asked to track their heart rate before, during, and after the experience. Such data would indicate whether the experiences were successful in reducing the heart rate of practitioners working in such a high-stress environment.
RESULTS & BENEFITS
After 8 months, Northwell Health found that our immersive solution significantly helped health practitioners reduce their high stress levels. Many health professionals used StellarX on a daily basis over a period of 8 months and were struck by the impressive results. After using the experience, health practitioners noted that their heart rates dropped significantly, and the professionals themselves noted feeling better and more relaxed after having spent some time in the relaxation space.
The most relaxing cup of coffee you’ll ever have (without the side effects). Suzanne N. Ardito, M.A., Research Coordinator, Division of Decision Science Center for Health Innovations and Outcomes Research (CHIOR) at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health, Department of Medicine
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