Medical Simulation Suite
The Project: University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Health Education Center’s new Immersive Learning Suite
The Goal: Transform the existing UTMB medical programs by creating a globally recognized learning center providing immersive technologies and simulated care experiences for students.
The Design Approach: The design team engaged UTMB’s educational leadership, care providers, and operational staff to create a unique vision for a shared immersive learning environment that would be incorporated into the facility’s already expansive and advanced higher education medical simulation center. The space was designed to include movable and retractable walls, permanent and movable stalls, sound-proofing acoustic ceiling panels, flexible lighting zones, and advanced technology and audio-visual capabilities throughout.
Challenge: Provide the technology infrastructure needed to support VR/AR/MR activities.
Solution: IMEG provided healthcare information technology (HIT) design and technology services including audio/visual systems design for several interactive digital displays and video walls; mobile collaborative digital solutions; and switching, processing, control, live streaming, recording, and archiving of the VR/AR/MR simulation suite activities. Acoustic design supports multi-use, single-use, and multi-location experiences and scenarios. The team also evaluated the adjustment of power supplies, Wi-Fi coverage, and overall network bandwidth to address the different immersive use cases for internal use as well as external broadcasting.
Challenge: Support the varying indoor environmental and technology needs of the various spaces, including dedicated stalls/virtual rooms, immersive enclosed learning rooms, and flexible learning spaces.
Solution: Zoned intelligent lighting and climate control is provided throughout the suite. In addition, acoustics design accommodates the center’s retractable wall options and focused immersive learning scenarios. The design also integrates with the building’s existing room scheduling and learning management system (LMS), and the security design allows for controlled and monitored use of the VR/AR/MR lenses and other equipment.
Expected outcome: The new Immersive Learning Suite is designed to accommodate over 1,500 immersive learning experiences yearly, enable more than 75 percent of educators to develop and facilitate immersive scenarios, and support a dedicated Immersive Learning Suite staff and team. By emulating the real-life situations students will encounter in their career, the center will prepare them to provide better care for their patients starting on day one of their very first job.