Sensory stimulation is vital to the emotional wellbeing of humans and it’s absolutely essential in the mental care setting. Not only does it convey emotional support, affection, and respect but sensory stimulation can dramatically improve a person’s quality of life. Sensory stimulation can be hard to realise, but sensory reality pods make it easily accessible and are transforming the health care industry as we know it. The future of healthcare is closer than you might think.
Wheelchair accessible pods
In 2017, Sensiks conducted a 6-month trial with St. Philadelphia, with 500 care locations the second largest care provider for mentally disabled and elderly people in the Netherlands. Based upon Philadelphia's requirements, Sensiks designed the first two wheelchair-accessible pods in which patient, as well as caregiver, could take place during the experience.
During the trial period, 120 clients—including a fixed weekly control group of 30 patients—were offered various multisensory experiences. Some patients used the VR headset whilst others, who found VR too immersive, enjoyed the experiences without the VR headset. Instead, colour lights were used to create mood compositions.
Measurements and results
Subjective as well as objective user feedback was measured and stored during the experience. For the subjective feedback, an integrated affect grid was used together with a questionnaire that was filled in by the patient or the observing personal caregiver. The affect grid below interestingly shows that users experience a high increase of enthusiasm, happiness and alertness while feeling reduced levels of sadness, tension and even tiredness.
For the objective measurements, the integrated biofeedback sensors were used for measurements of heart rate, HRV (heart rate variability), and skin conductance. After the trial period, the gathered results were analyzed and reported by TNO. The different states before, during, and after the sessions were projected as follows.
The results of the trial turned out very promising and Philadelphia ordered the first batch of 10 wheelchair accessible sensory reality pods for their larger locations which have been installed in 2018. We are happy that we can build the future of healthcare alongside Philadelphia.
And we continue improving, during 2018-2019, several challenges were discovered and tackled, such as implementation in the daily care program, content value creation, and process management.
Care content collective
Based on the positive trial outcome and learnings, several other Dutch healthcare organizations within the same segment also ordered pods for IQL, therapy and further research purposes.
Together with our clients and partners, a content collective was established. Via brainstorm sessions with the innovation teams, psychotherapists, and feedback from patients, new content solutions and applications are being developed within the collective.
Want to find out more about Sensiks cooperation with Philadelphia? Check out the video and the blog post on their site (Dutch) below.