13 December 2018

Tomorrow's Dental Services in a VR environment

When Folktandvården (Swedish Public Dental Service) in Västerbotten decided to digitalise and build a clinic for the future, Tyréns created the world's most intelligent dental clinic in a VR environment.

Reporting your visit digitally and paying at a pay station, this is how the digitalised dental reception, with fewer administrative staff, appears. In the near future, you might be welcomed by a digital receptionist. Or so says Jonas Gry Fjellström, who is part of a project group, including the Department of Applied Educational Science at Umeå University and Department of Odontology, in Västerbotten County Council's efforts to digitise healthcare.

"We have created a digital version of an existing "clinic of the future", where some elements are digitalised. It is now possible to visit the clinic in a VR environment, making it possible to exhibit it at trade fairs as well as during discussions about digitalised healthcare," Jonas Gry Fjellström, who is a specialist in visualisation at Tyréns, says.

"The environment in the virtual clinic is built up from images, photos and furniture in TYREngine, which is Tyréns' platform for all visualisation in VR. Finding the right colour codes took some detective work and translating the experience of the real environment, such as the feeling of the open plan space, the dampened sound and comfortable lighting, into the VR world was quite a challenge.

"There is a lot of glass in the clinic to eliminate the sense of claustrophobia that can be felt in an examination room. The sliding doors open quietly, so they can hardly be heard when people enter a room. The design process was a challenge, for example, getting the glass partitions to work in the same way and finding the correct lighting.

The idea at the start was to use the VR environment as demonstration material. However, new ideas for applications emerged during discussions. For example, an ordinary user could have the chance to experience the clinic before attending a dental appointment.

"We will, first of all, continue to build details in the VR environment and to find new solutions, so tomorrow's clinic will continue to be at the cutting edge. This clinic will be an inspiration for other clinics in Folktandvården."