Walking safely in ... a virtual world

This project is realised with the support of Foundation Against Cancer

Project was made possible thanks to the support of The Warmest Week 2023

Financial support from Roche NV

People with haematological disorders often spend long periods of time in hospital. They regularly have to be quarantined because their blood levels are not OK and the risks of infection are too high. Loneliness and boredom then strike quickly. After all, you are always between 4 the same walls, having little contact.

Asbl SuperNils wants to do something about this. Therefore, we are going to set up a Metaverse (hypothetical online world where people can meet through avatars), which allows patients to move from their hospital room or environment into an open virtual world. And this in a completely safe way, without risk of contamination and infection. The objectives of the Metaverse are to be able to step aside from reality, allowing daily worries to be forgotten for a while and time to move forward a little faster. Well-being and mental well-being will also improve as a result, which in turn has a positive impact on the healing process. It also gives patients the chance to go to a place, where they cannot/should not go at that time. Furthermore, the Metaverse will alleviate some of the loneliness, by being able to speak live or otherwise with family, fellow sufferers and/or the SuperNils Avatar. Other objectives of vzw SuperNils can also be incorporated into the programme, namely informing (health education) and working on agility.

The development of this extensive project will be done by an Antwerp-based specialist company, Venar.

Following features could be developed in the process, depending of course on the available budget.

  • Foundation Against Cancer's budget supports the development of a virtual SuperNils environment, with SuperNils-Avatar.
  • We also want to provide virtual tours outside the hospital. We are thinking of a tour of the tourist centre of Antwerp, a visit to the zoo, a walk along the Scheldt, a visit to a museum, etc. We already have the budget for these films from the Foundation against Cancer and other sponsors.
  • A relaxation section, where you can meditate under guidance at the top of a beautiful mountain or just in nature.
  • Interaction with the SuperNils avatar.
  • Health education, where, for example, you learn a little more about necessary dietary foods (walk through a supermarket, with the Avatar giving you tips and explanations - taught through AI and with the support of dieticians from the partner hospitals).
  • Integration of a possible multi-player, where you can interact live with your family or friends, without real physical contact.
  • Integration of low-threshold movement intervals (linked to the movement kit of non-profit organisation SuperNils).

To get started with this Metaverse, we obviously need VR glasses. Asbl SuperNils can already provide the partner hospitals with a number of glasses, from the budgets of the Foundation against Cancer. The company, Venar, will prepare the glasses so that they can be used easily and without too many interventions by nurses.

Patients who want to get started with the VR package at home can also watch movies via their smartphones and a special cardboard holder, which SuperNils is making available to patients at partner hospitals. Certain features will not work with the smartphone, but we are going to provide enough films in the system so that patients can also relax at home. 

Partners within this beautiful project are ...

We need your help!

Vzw SuperNils wants to tailor this project to patients as much as possible. That is why we are looking for topics, themes and activities that interest you. That way, we can use the resources correctly and usefully.

Moreover, we also think this project can have an impact medically and educationally. So it would not be wise not to survey nurses and doctors. After all, they can indicate which themes they consider valuable.

Below is the link to a short survey for patients and healthcare professionals/doctors. It would be nice if you could complete it before 31 March 2024. We can then include the results in the further development of the VR project "Walking safely in ... a virtual world".

Thanks in advance for your valuable input!

Finally getting to work ...

Safely out and about in a ... virtual world!

Manual for using VR glasses

Still under development

This manual tells you step by step how to get started independently with the VR glasses in the hospital. Read them carefully before you start your virtual adventure.

Roadmap for assembling cardboard VR glasses

Still under development

This step-by-step guide will help you assemble the cardboard VR holder. Once it is ready, carefully place your smartphone in the holder and the adventure can begin.