At Sheridan, we spark and advance ideas to shape an ever-changing world through our trailblazing research, innovation and entrepreneurship. We take a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to find answers to issues that directly affect our home communities. With expertise spanning five Faculties and six Research and Incubation Centres, Sheridan is firmly placed on the leading edge of innovation. Supporting healthy communities is a key priority for Sheridan. In addition to fueling a pipeline of highly qualified health care professionals through our Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies, we are also emerging leaders in health innovation applied research. Through numerous health care projects with industry and community partners each year, Sheridan is helping drive health care innovation at a local level, empowering our partners to explore new technologies in this field and provide tangible impacts in the communities we collectively serve.
Supporting older adults with innovative technologies
The Sheridan Centre for Elder Research (CER) examines how to enhance the well-being of older adults and the environments that support them. Two recent projects with community partners explored the use of immersive technology with the elderly. One study brought the experience of travel in a virtual reality (VR) headset to Sienna Senior Living residents experiencing physical, sensory or cognitive challenges. Residents responded well to the immersive technology as it provided an opportunity to experience a new virtual environment, use a new technology and helped provide a distraction for those with chronic pain. A second project supported local care provider Acclaim Health with the design of an immersive room for residents living with dementia and a set of guidelines for incorporating immersive technology in their recreation programs. In both cases, CER’s expertise enabled its partners to provide their residents with meaningful recreation experiences and opportunities for engagement and adventure. Both groups reported positive outcomes after engaging with the immersive technologies, and staff indicated high levels of satisfaction.
Enhancing health care through mobile technologies
Sheridan’s Centre for Mobile Innovation (CMI) creates innovative health care solutions by using leading mobile and related technologies. Among their many health technology projects and partnerships, the Clinic of the Future is a collaboration with Kitchener-based medical company Cloud DX. Cloud DX’s innovative VITALITI wearable is a continuous patient monitoring device that collects and streams vitals in real-time. The CMI team created an app for the Clinic of the Future using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. The app processes the stream of patient vitals from the VITALITI and presents the information as dynamic visualizations, including reality panels and holograms. Designed for physicians and nurses who work in a clinical or hospital environment, the CMI research team of faculty and students have enhanced this extended reality application to be more informative, intuitive, and useful for health care practitioners to support more streamlined, efficient care with the goal of improving patient outcomes.
VR in applied learning
Sheridan is also using VR technology to enhance teaching and learning in applied health programs. The Practical Nursing diploma program in the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies recently implemented immersive nursing simulation software to complement the program’s existing learning experiences. The VR technology immerses students in different scenarios that they might encounter in a hospital environment that can’t be simulated, such as performing a resuscitation.
For more information on Sheridan’s research and innovation, please visit research.sheridancollege.ca.
Photo courtesy of UbiSim.
Sheridan College is a Sponsor of Research Canada’s Parliamentary Health Research Caucus Welcome Reception and Game Changers in Health Research and Health Innovation Panel. Visit rc-rc.ca/phrc-welcome-reception-game-changers/ for more information.