Interactive floors bring joy for children at Odense University Hospital
It is especially hard for children to make time pass faster while waiting to be called to the operating room. The Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital in Odense has found a solution to this problem.
In the middle of a 145-meter-long corridor named the 'Fairy Tale Corridor', you can hear whoops, giggles, and laughter as a child and parents meet on the interactive floor, Wizefloor, which the children’s hospital has installed in the ceiling. Here, children can click their hands and feet on the large floor screen and play different games either alone or against each other.
The hospital was among the first in the healthcare sector to install interactive floors back in 2013 in both the 'Adventure Corridor' and the cancer ward. The idea then, as now, was to get children out of hospital beds and stimulate them physically and mentally, thus speeding up their recovery.
It provides a distraction for the children and means that they have the opportunity to spend their time actively instead of just lying in their wards waiting to get well
The interactive floors make particular sense at a time when the hospital is challenged by the stricter cleaning framework imposed by the pandemic. It works well now that toys have been removed and living spaces have been closed down.
It has been an obvious success and the solution is so adapted to the pandemic because it allows for play without touching anything. It has lived up to the set of values we originally wanted, namely an offer that can lure children out of bed and be used around the clock without cleaning up and at the same time bring children together across diagnoses and specialties. Today, the solution has unfolded with yet another facet
In her work as a welfare coordinator, she has been tasked with creating the best environment for the children in the hospital. In her search for possible solutions, she came across the interactive floor. The floor is freely accessible, so there are a lot of children and parents who naturally go and use it when they are there. There are no rules on how to use it.
It is used by children waiting with their parents to be called to surgery. Or a girl spending her waiting time playing games. Or it could be family and siblings coming from far and wide to visit their new baby brother.
It gets the children out of bed when you, as a mother or father, ask if you should go and break some balloons. And I can see that something happens in this relationship with those who meet on the floor. A community is created when someone plays soccer, stomps balloons, or plays another game with their father. And it also works if you are in a wheelchair
Wizefloor contains a wide variety of activities, ranging from quizzes and memory games to balloon and categorisation games. They are designed to stimulate interactivity, collaboration, and inclusion for all users on the floor.
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