Investigative and evaluative research in the field of immersive VR in healthcare is still young and developing. Generating empirical knowledge through research is crucial for immersive VR in healthcare. Furthermore, rigorously developed research designs and methodologies can inspire and guide other healthcare organisations who are still in the nascent period of immersive technology adoption or implementation. We aim to be at the forefront of this.
Our focus during the initial years of the VR Lab was on developing immersive experiences and content that could be shared across TSDFT and neighbouring NHS Trusts. Today we are at a stage where we have helped other NHS Trusts within our region in successfully building their own VR Labs and use our 360-degree content. Having gained experience as producers, our focus is now moving toward developing research studies to understand the implications on users of these immersive experiences. We are sensitive towards the humanities or ‘humanistic skills’ theme of our focus, and much of our research interest lies in the human factors and non-technical affordances that immersive technologies has.