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Virtual reality helping to create new hospital facility in Aberdeen

HTC undated handout photo of its Vive virtual reality headset
HTC undated handout photo of its Vive virtual reality headset

Staff are helping to shape how a new £163million health campus will look – using virtual reality headsets.

The Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre, within the Foresterhill Health Campus in Aberdeen, are due to open in 2021 and will support and enhance the provision of clinical care using modern research methods and teaching facilities.

To make sure the buildings are fully equipped, NHS Grampian staff have been working with construction company Graham to virtually bring the rooms to life.

Of the 1,300 proposed rooms in the buildings, 20 will be able to view through the means of VR technology.

Clinicians will be able to view the rooms in 3D and give staff the chance to suggest changes to the rooms before they are actually built.

So-called “complex” rooms such as a neo-natal ITU bay and an operating room have been constructed by staff at Graham.

Staff from NHS Grampian and from the construction company met this week to see the 3D designs for the facility’s planned theatre rooms.

Jackie Bremner, project director at NHS Grampian, said: “We are working with our Graham Construction and their design team to develop detailed plans for the new Baird Family Hospital and The Anchor Centre which is due to open in 2021.

“To assist us with the design of some of the more complex clinical rooms, we have commissioned Graham Construction to develop 3D virtual reality models of around 20 complex rooms including an operating room, treatment rooms, a neonatal ITU bay, as well as a patient bedroom and en-suite.

“During three days this week doctors, nurses, and other key members of staff have been using the VR technology to inform the design of key rooms. This work is ongoing and will continue during the remainder of the design development phase.​“

Victoria Cheevers, member of Graham’s digital team, said: “We use the HTC VR headset and tailor it to each individual project the company gets.

“The company has been working with NHS Grampian on visuals for a VR experience.

“We want to make places in their facility, such as birthing rooms and operating spaces, seem as realistic as possible with our software.”

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