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0012 Patientvr – a virtual reality experience from the patient perspective
  1. Nick Peres1,2
  1. 1South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust, Torbay, UK
  2. 2University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK


PatientVR is a virtual reality film project born out of PhD research carried out by Nick Peres while studying towards the creation of visual interfaces to represent the patient voice in medical simulation. Having worked as a film maker prior to working in simulation technologies, Nick quickly recognised the ability filmic elements could have enhancing the patient background and character within simulation scenarios. PatientVR was created to give unique insight into how and what the patient sees during a treatment pathway. Using immersive video technology, the project introduces a first person visual representation of the patient perspective to highlight to the user the impact that ‘humanistic’ or non-technical skills such as effective communication and empathetic gesture can have on a patient.

PatientVR is a series of immersive film experiences created specifically for viewing with virtual reality hardware, the demonstration video of which puts viewers in the shoes of a fictional character experiencing chest pains. Filmed in 3D 360° to capture total event coverage, users take the role of the patient as they go from ambulance to resus then onto theatre. The aim of the videos is to help those treating such patients to better understand patient feelings and gain the alternative patient perspective to various situations. The virtual reality aspect gives users the ability of looking around thecomplete scene using head tracking technology, as if they were the actual patient.

In its initial stages, the project has already recorded very positive results from clinical staff that through this reflective learning experience recognise small but important changes they can make, in aspects such as body language, communication, eye contact and even environment awareness from this new perspective.

We’re here to make people feel better, not just to treat them. The patient sees and hears things differently than we often realise.


  1. Wood J. The virtual embodied: practice, presence, technology. Routledge, 1998

  2. Milk C. (2015, March) Chris Milk: How virtual reality can create the ultimate empathy machine [Video File]. Retrieved from:

  3. Gorini A, Capideville CS, De Leo G, Mantovani F, Riva G. The role of immersion and narrative in mediated presence: the virtual hospital experience. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. 2011;14(3):99–105

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