Away From Home: Building Teams Help Children's Hospitals Create A Sense of Normalcy For Patients And Their Families

The University of Iowa Stead family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, which opened in February, recently debuted in its lobby a 32-foot-long, curved-screen theater that, using Microsoft’s Kinect technology, runs two interactive games: “Eagle’s Flight,” where kids use their arms to control the flight of birds across the U.S. to view landmarks like Mount Rushmore; and “Story in the Stars,” which brings three stories to life as constellations.  The theater is accessible to children in wheelchairs and with limited mobility.

Tom Collins, Chief Operating Officer of Dimensional Innovations, which developed the theater, sees diversionary tactics like this becoming more prevalent in children’s hospitals as ways to help sick kids “escape from the hospital without physically leaving the building.”  He adds that a basic system can be installed for under six figures.

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