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BRIGHT HORIZONS GestureTek Health’s interactive floor projections are transforming hospital

environments into fun, positive spaces that can have a huge impact on patient experience and aid in rehabilitation.

For many, going to the hospital can be a scary experience. Children often see it as a place filled with pokes from needles or loud sounds from big scary machines. For parents a hospital can be a giant germ factory, not only healing illnesses, but also sending some home too. So it’s no surprise that generation after generation the story of the big scary hospital has been perpetuated. But times are changing, and so too is the story of the hospital, and with that of hospital flooring. As technology advances, procedures become less invasive and interiors become more interactive and inviting.

GestureTek Health, a Canadian-based company with UK offices, is at the forefront of creating these interactive hospital transformations. As the inventors, pioneers and world leaders in video gesture control technology, they use interactive projections to animate health care spaces, making them more welcoming and enjoyable for patients and staff alike. Their interactive projections can work on any surface, most notably floors, and offer activities that both calm and engage children in fun playful activities. Since these interactive projections are gesture based and don’t require touching anything, they help reduce the spread of germs by lowering the chances of contact, a benefit to both families and hospital management equally.

The recently completed Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, a Lee Health Hospital, has ensured their facilities are inviting to patients and families. “We're going to provide some excellent care to children that's really child- friendly," said Kathy Bridge-Liles, the children's hospital's chief administrative officer. Interior design and patient experience play a big part of that first-rate care.

To support a child-friendly atmosphere, 11 of GestureTek’s interactive projections were installed, one on almost every floor, which included both ceiling mounted and turnkey projection units. The second-floor elevator lobby arguably has the most impressive flooring impact, with a large-scale interactive floor projection as the central focal


point. Branded with the hospitals name and mascots, the projection rotates through a variety of scenes, from a bright blue sky with clouds and interactive characters, to a sandy ocean floor with oversized interactive polaroids, all reacting to the sweep of a foot or wave of a hand. There are rippling water effects and custom ‘floating’ animations along with playful sound effects and gentle music, but there’s really no limit on how creative these projections can be. Similarly, there are no limits on who can enjoy these projections either, as parents and staff have been just as enthralled with these interactive installations. With a large range of customisation, allowing for interaction from even the blink of an eye or no movement at all, the systems have also proven extremely valuable for use in sensory rooms. These multisensory environments are often used to aid in the rehabilitation of people with autism and other developmental disabilities, dementia or brain injury.

Offering the ability to create custom content, and linking any number of projectors in a row, the footprint for these installs is limitless. Even low ceiling height can be tackled with specialised lenses to adapt to various environments. So it’s time to start reconsider the possibilities of hospital environments, and the impacts flooring can create. Hospital floors have grown beyond static rubber and patterned tile. Now they can come alive with custom creations and cartoon characters, or seasonal animations like fall leaves, spring flowers or winter ice rinks. In the end, the bottom line is patient experience, and time after time, these interactive flooring solutions have proven to be a winning addition to healthcare facilities worldwide.

Welcome to the age of positive, playful and dare we say it, enjoyable hospital visits. With companies like GestureTek Health dedicated to transforming hospitals into a haven of health, wellness and happiness, the future of flooring is bright indeed.

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