Project

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Mar 21, 2018

Exploring machine learning for sensory experience at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford

 

Ouva, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford (LPCHS) and Aesthetics, Inc. teams began discussions on designing an immersive, sensory learning environment for the new facility in 2014. The goal was to create a space intended to engage young patients and their families in a new 512,000 sf. facility. The motivation was to educate and delight patients and loved in a special area of the lobby called the “Story Corner” ones that this is a facility designed around their needs and one that delivers one-of-a-kind patient experience. The multifunctional Story Corner was one of the many design elements that supported the goal of creating a facility designed around the needs of the patient and family, and one that delivers one of a kind patient experience.

The wayfinding theme for the new hospital is the California Ecosystem with its flora, fauna and natural treasures. The main entrance, lobby and Story Corner theme is the coastline and thus Ouva’s designs include the beach, ocean and kelp beds. Being a local company from San Francisco, the Ouva design team was ecstatic to take on such concept that is near and dear to their hearts. The immediate intent was to design an interactive, sensory experience that help patients appreciate and find joy in the rich biodiversity of the lush California coastline while promoting wellness. The design team decided on three different environments that cover the entire coastal life cycle: the coastline, the beach, and the underwater scene with kelp forest.

Young patient with open arms looking at interactive Ouva video display showing a harbor seal looking at her.
‍Photo credit: Steve Babuljak

Design Process

Initial design discovery workshops with the Packard Children’s team produced a variety of style approaches. The consensus was to deliver a realistic experience, along with unique features that appealed to a broad age group. Final design direction reflected elements combining robust features with the fantasy theme and delivering enchantment, fascination, and adventure that resonate with the inner child of all guests.

Work-in-progress renders and sketches California Coastline.
Work-in-progress renderings and sketches California Coastline.

Once visitors reach approximately 8 feet from the wall, they see their outline come into view as though their bodies were transformed into the scenery. That is the moment when people realize they are part of the scene; a figure within a virtual landscape.

While technology behind the scenes utilizes sophisticated machine learning approaches like those found in autonomous driving vehicles, the resulting sensory experience is intuitive and seamless.

Visitors get to experience the therapeutic wellness elements of the coastal weather; rain pours down their arms and body, a vibrant rainbow appears in between their hands and infamous Pacific fog can be cleared away by user’s movements. There are numerous animals by the coast that will come on to the scene and interact with the visitors. The local brown pelican mimics user’s level of movement bringing a fun, whimsical interaction. A pair of binoculars hanging from the tree trunks can be used to spot whales, dolphins, and seals. While technology behind the scenes utilizes sophisticated machine learning approaches like those found in autonomous driving vehicles, the resulting sensory experience is intuitive and seamless.

Young patient looking with arms extended sideways, looking at Ouva video display, showing a rainbow and pelican.
‍Photo credit: Steve Babuljak

As the scene approaches the beach side, visitors feel and hear the calming ocean waves and get inspired to play in the sand. By using their hands, they can start drawing on the sand's surface or freely dig to reveal hermit crabs, starfish, and barnacles in disguise. Hermit crabs immediately run away once their cover is blown and seldom come back to collect the exposed stones on the sand.

"We are now excited about the data collection/analysis aspects of the system and look forward to exploring clinical opportunities and applications for their technology in the future." – Kerry Shanahan, Senior Project Manager, LPCHS

Ocean life simulates a lively world of fish in their natural habitat. As they move around the scene in wonder, visitors release waves of fish food dispersing from their hands, attracting a school of fish to swim towards them. They get to reveal and even play hide and seek with the Rockfish and the California Halibut hiding in the sandy bottom. The harbor seal occasionally comes close when people are around and blows bubbles. When the pesky shark enters the scene, it causes all the other fishes to run away. Visitors can waive their arms to scare away the shark and bring back all the sea life to the view. A vast kelp forest full of life and steadily in drift encourages curiosity and initiative to discover the aquatic wildlife behind the dense branches. Bodily movements make the branches to sway back and forth gracefully.

Young and adult patient playing in front of interactive Ouva video display, showing underwater scenery.
‍Photo credit: Steve Babuljak

Improving Patient Experience Through Metrics

The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford opened its doors on December 9, 2017. Young patients and loved ones already started interacting with the Coastal Life experience, and the initial feedback has been very positive and promising. Ouva analyzes patient engagement metrics and patterns to optimize the sensory experience to improve patient involvement and satisfaction.

Kerry Shanahan, Senior Project Manager at Packard Children’s commented on the patient experience dashboard possibilities, “We are now excited about the data collection/analysis aspects of the system and look forward to exploring clinical opportunities and applications for their technology in the future”. Regarding the initial feedback from the visitors she added, “For now, with the opening of the Hospital in December 2017, the system is being enjoyed by patients, their siblings and parents on a daily basis and serves to stimulate thought and distract from the stress that naturally comes with being in a hospital”.

Future LPCHS Patient Experience

With Ouva's visual AI technology, Packard Children’s can measure and track patient experience metrics such as patient flow, wait times, engagement, as well as receive real-time alerts, presented in a comprehensive HIPAA compliant Ouva dashboard. Information presented on various charts that can be configured to see the impact of the patient experience, providing actionable insights, highlighting areas that need attention to improve challenges.

Ouva has envisioned a rigorous product roadmap with new features and capabilities to be developed at Packard Children’s, including virtual AI assistants and patient safety alerts. Ouva's goal is to advance the partnership with Packard Children’s to deliver one-of-a-kind, personalized experience, keep patients safe and informed and ultimately deliver a smart, continuous patient journey.

Young patient holding up a toy above her head, in front of interactive Ouva video display.
Photo credit: Steve Babuljak

See Steve Babuljak's website for more photos and videos.

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