Designing immersive, interactive experiences to prevent sedentary habits of pediatric patients

Dogan Demir


Several studies have reported negative impact of immobility on health. as Dr. James Levine of Mayo Clinic describes it, "We lose two hours of life for every hour we sit." In clinical environments, sedentary behavior is commonly treated through the use of exercise and posture correction. However, this type of intervention is generally limited by patient's motivation to participate. Building upon the expertise in developing engaging interactive art for museums and large public events such as Olympic Venues, Kinesis Studio has been building permanent installations in major hospitals across US such as Nemours Children's Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. These immersive environments track patients' full-body motion and respond through the use of engaging feedback, designed in collaboration with physical and occupation therapists. Jeannette Garcia, Director of Pediatrics at University of Miami's Pediatric Cancer Treatment Center describes benefits of this work as ranging from relieving patient's stress to allowing doctors to assess motor and social skills as well as to check movements that are related to blood and oncology disorders, all in a natural, playful environment. Kinesis Studio is currently working with health care professionals to bring these environments to hospital rooms for targeted therapy of physical conditions through motivational experiences. In this talk, we will discuss challenges and accomplishments in designing for young patients, explore other examples of health care environments that combine and art and technology with the goal of providing the audience with the understanding of the benefits of this new paradigm in healing spaces.

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