Home Health Research Takes New Cues from Virtual Reality

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin are making home health a “virtual reality.” 

Through a $2.5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, a group comprising researchers at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), and the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Nursing and College of Engineering are taking a close look into diabetes patients’ homes to learn more about how healthcare solutions can aid them, according to a University of Wisconsin report

They’re doing it via virtual reality.


It involves taking data from different homes and simulating it through 3-D imagery to detect trends among homes that might impact the care a patient needs or can provide on his or her own. 

“We’re trying to understand how something like clutter in households affects people taking their medicine,” Patricia Flatley Brennan, lead researcher at LEL, professor of engineering and Moehlman Bascom professor of Nursing told the Wisconsin publication. “How does proximity to a computer affect how often they track their sleep? Do they have objects throughout their homes that remind them or cloud their ability to remember to self-administer care?”

The approach counters typical studies that look at external factors to answer some of the same questions. The hope is the methodology will be able to apply to broader subject groups in the future. 


“Although the first experiment will focus on individuals living with diabetes, Brennan and colleagues say they hope to more widely examine different individuals, communities and regions in the future,” the University of Wisconsin publication reports. 

Read the original report.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker