Moffitt Cancer Center and Ringling College Bring VR to Cancer Patients

Moffitt Cancer Center and Ringling College Bring VR to Cancer Patients

Ringling College of Art and Design and Moffitt Cancer Center are partnering to bring the benefits of virtual reality (VR) to those living with cancer.

“The collaboration with Ringling College will focus on the patient journey and how we can create meaningful tools to help decrease stress, enhance understanding of upcoming treatments, and connect patients to survivor stories so they don’t feel so alone,” said Sarah Hoffe, M.D., Moffitt’s section head of Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to leverage the creativity and talents of Ringling College’s faculty, staff, and students toward making a difficult time a little easier for patients,” said Ringling College of Art and Design President Larry R. Thompson.

The two institutions plan on developing creative content for digital health care technologies, including virtual reality, animations for patient education, and training videos for physicians.

Moffitt and Ringling College will also explore the possibility of developing a virtual reality health care innovations lab, entering into joint research papers and publications, and establishing a technology lecture series.

Interim Department Head of the Game Art and Virtual Reality Department, Morgan Woolverton, noted that the project is currently in the “design brief” stage, which means students are accumulating data, creating priorities and the “tent poles” of how the project can meet the challenges presented by Moffitt.
“As designers and creative thinkers, it is important to locate the limitations of science in the holistic experience of treating patients, and use creativity to fill in the gaps of what is necessarily the human experience of healing and recovery.”

“Interim Faculty Project Director for the Ringling College Collaboratory, Angela Leed, added that “Incorporating creativity within the hard sciences, especially as it relates to the medical field, sets the stage for innovative solutions. Together, the Collaboratory, the Virtual Reality Department and Moffitt Cancer Center are creatively exploring together to find clever and groundbreaking ways to improve the patient’s experience.”

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