Digital Nature for Delirium Prevention

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Delirium and distressing ICU environment

Delirium is an acute brain dysfunction characterized by a disturbance in attention, awareness, and cognition, which occurs in up to 80% of intensive care unit (ICU) patients. There are various risk factors of delirium including the distressing ICU environment with its overload of noise, artificial lights and lack of proper sensory stimulation. However, that same environment may also turn into a healing environment promoting sleep, relaxation and orientation, as such becoming an important tool for preventing delirium.

Healing environment and VitalSky

Digital Nature project is a collaboration between Philips Healthcare and the University of Twente. We explore how smart technology can turn the ICU environment into a healing environment accommodating patient’s physical, psychological and emotional needs. We particularly focus on understanding positive sensory stimulations inspired by nature’s healing potential to enhance restoration (sleep), relaxation and reorientation, aiming to prevent delirium. At the same time, we investigate how human-device interactions in the ICU room can better support patient-centred care. Next to establishing a theoretical framework, this project aims at building an evidence basis for designing a healing environment and nature-based design interventions (visual contents), complementing the advanced features of the Philips VitalSky ICU lighting system.

 Philips VitalSky

Patient-centric approach and collaboration with key stakeholders

We take a patient-centric approach while collaborating closely with other key stakeholders in the medical domain to ensure maximum alignment of our design approach with their needs and requirements such as workflow efficiency in the ICU. Digital Nature project will provide innovative, evidence-based design strategies and solutions for preventing delirium and enhancing patient experience in the ICU.

The team

More information

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Involved research groups

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