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VR Being Used to Show McLaren Staff New Hospital

Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 19, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — Shovels may not have hit dirt yet for McLaren Greater Lansing’s new South Lansing hospital, but engineers are already getting a high-tech view of what some aspects will look like when the project is finished.

Teams of experts are using virtual reality to get an up-close view of how some of the new hospital’s infrastructure will be laid out. The project includes miles and miles of electrical cables and pipes. Those systems are held on eight-foot-wide racks that need to be meticulously planned out to make sure there are no conflicts for space once construction begins.

Traditional mechanical, electrical, and plumbing coordination models include three-dimensional elements that can be viewed from a computer screen, but contractors are now using a set of virtual reality glasses called HoloLens to get a more realistic view of where each system goes. “You’re really immersing yourself in it,” said Austin Holcomb, Director of Facilities for McLaren Greater Lansing. “We can walk through the model and see the piping clearances, locations of valves, and other key information instead of just seeing it on a computer screen.”

Virtual reality technology will also be used in other aspects of the hospital design and construction as it moves forward. “We’ll use the same three-dimensional glasses as we work on patient rooms and other spaces,” said Holcomb. “We can bring a doctor or nurse in and they can put the glasses on and walk through the space to see where items will be within a room and provide feedback.”

Cutting-edge technology in the design process is helping McLaren Greater Lansing move closer to opening its state-of-the-art facility. “We’re truly redesigning health care from the ground up,” said Casey Kandow, McLaren Greater Lansing Chief Operating Officer. “This is one more way we’re able to get input from the doctors, nurses, and staff who are going to be utilizing our new hospital every day to help our patients.”

McLaren Greater Lansing’s new campus will house a 240-bed state-of-the-art hospital, cancer center, ambulatory, and other facilities to support health care delivery, educational opportunities, and medical research. The current estimated timeline to open the facilities is early 2022.