Velindre NHS Trust

3D Education Video for Palliative Care and Radiotherapy

As a cancer patient, being told that radiotherapy may be required and not knowing what the radiotherapy experience may be like, can naturally cause some anxiety. This can in turn influence a person’s readiness to attend the first appointment. The radiotherapy department wanted a clear, bilingual way to show patients the radiology treatment process; the radiotherapy beams themselves are painless and patients do not have to lie in an enclosed space, in the way they do when they have an MRI scan.  But the resource to individually show each patient around the department prior to treatment in order to reassure them, is not available due to very high turnover rates in the department.

The Radiotherapy department is also very active in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students from multiple disciplines, some of whom may never have experienced the view from the radiotherapy bench, so providing this as an immersive experience was felt a potentially valuable learning experience.

Orchard 360 outlined utilising Virtual Reality to allow patients to view the radiotherapy treatment process as if they were experiencing it for the first time. This included a brief overview of the process including an example run through for the patient. Filmed in 360 degrees this tour allowed for a very immersive ‘in the room’ experience with sound and vision and a ‘view from the Radiotherapy Bench’, with the machine moving around the patient. For those patients not wishing to use this resource, two-dimensional videos are already available, but they have not been highly accessed since being uploaded in 2013 (722 views at time of writing this). It was felt that a Virtual Reality Experience ’on the bench’ could add to the preparation for this procedure. It was felt that this could also feature in teaching students (medical, nursing, radiotherapy, physiotherapy) and to actually experience the patient viewpoint.

Within a short timescale Orchard 360 was able to support Velindre NHS Trust and offer advice and guidance in regards to scripting and direction of the 3D videos.

Videos include a tour for the patient, during which healthcare staff answer some typical questions and demonstrate exactly what will happen during a radiology treatment session.

Several versions have been created including full length version, shortened version and bilingual versions.

Velindre NHS Trust have been very enthusiastic about this 360 /VR experience and are now evaluating these videos in a Quality Assurance process, which will form part of a larger Quality Improvement project. The learning has begun, and staff and patients are starting to talk about how VR might help the areas they access to improve education and understanding. This is a quickly developing immersive technology that thinks outside the usual box of patient leaflets and two-dimensional video clips.

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