All posts in Hubweek

Immersive Storytellers Craft Unique Experiences at the Intersection of Media, Health, Medicine and Scientific Discovery in Boston

The Boston Globe's STAT team, Brookline Interactive Group, and the Public VR Lab teamed up on three 360 films for Hubweek 2017.

[article originally posted on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/immersive-storytellers-craft-unique-experiences-media-kathy-bisbee]

In 2016, Jeff Delviscio, Director, Multimedia and Creative at the Boston Globe’s STAT news team, bumped into the executive director, Kathy Bisbee, of Brookline Interactive Group (BIG), where she was demoing VR to throngs of science journalists and media makers. He wanted to explore how his cutting-edge news team, STAT, focused on finding and telling compelling stories about health, medicine and scientific discovery, could tell compelling stories about medicine and science using 360 video or VR. Kathy had hoped to share BIG’s experience training and creating VR content with other media organizations.

Kathy had co-founded the Public VR Lab as part of her work at Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) an innovative community media center, and was creating AR, VR and 360 content with her team. The Lab had started planting the seeds for what would become “Community VR,” a local and national project and movement that would train journalists, filmmakers, creators, and storycoders to create VR in the public interest, based out of Brookline, MA and trained and collaborated with libraries, arts organizations and journalists. The Lab now has an affiliate program, and offers VR toolkits, equipment and a training program to VR creators, journalists, filmmakers, educators, and municipalities.

Together STAT, BIG and the Public VR Lab collaborated to produce three unique experiences in locations around Boston that resulted in three 360 films introducing Boston residents and viewers worldwide to what it might feel like to work in a high security lab on the Ebola virus in Boston’s NEIDL (National Emerging Infectious Diseases lab); or to better understand the experience of a Tufts Dental School student, and sense intense teamwork of the effective Boston Children’s Hospital’s infant trauma unit. All films were created in 360 video that can be watched online, in a VR headset, or even on your phone, and screened at Boston’s Hubweek in October 2017.

Read more and check out these unique experiences from the team at STAT, Brookline Interactive Group, and the Public VR Lab, written and documented below and online by Hyacinth Empinado, STAT News staffer.

[Team photo at Hubweek: STAT Director, Jeff Delviscio; BIG Lead Creative Designer, Nir Darom; STAT News staffer/editor, Hyacinth Empinado; BIG VR Coordinator, Josh Widdicombe]

What does it look like inside a level-4 biosafety lab? And what does it feel like to be inside an operating room, performing a delicate procedure on a critically ill child?

In the world of science and medicine, places like this are often reserved exclusively for highly trained specialists.

But immersive 360-degree videos can gives us all a better sense for what it’s like to see the world through these specialists’ eyes. In the videos below, originally produced for HUBweek in partnership with Brookline Interactive Group and the Public VR Lab, you can explore these spaces on your own screen. To look around, click on the videos with your mouse and move it in any direction.

Raising Ebola

Research on dangerous pathogens like Ebola takes place inside highly secure biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs. Elke Mühlberger, a researcher at the National Emerging Diseases Laboratory at Boston University, takes you as close to Ebola as you’ll ever get and talks about why she thinks of the deadly virus as her pet.

Open Wide

On any given day, rows of fake heads are on the receiving end of whirring drills at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Mikenah Vega, a fourth-year student, shows us how she preps her head (which she calls “my boyfriend Miguel”) for a day at the simulation clinic, where students learn all about our teeth. 

On any given day, rows of fake heads are on the receiving end of whirring drills at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where students learn about teeth.

Code Blue

Watch a team of physicians, nurses, and surgeons simulate a high-risk procedure, called ECMO, on a critically ill child during a training session at Boston Children’s Hospital. ECMO is a machine that temporarily takes over a child’s weakened heart and lungs, giving him or her time to heal. To increase the child’s chances of survival, the team has to make every moment count.

About the Public VR Lab

www.publicvrlab.com

The Public VR Lab facilitates public dialogue; provides professional training; empowers community knowledge and creation of 360, virtual and augmented content; provides access to tools, headsets, arcades, toolkits, and professional expertise; and generates locally-focused, broadly impactful, Next Realities experiences in the public interest.

The Lab has trained immersive journalists, filmmakers, educators and storycoders to use VR/AR/360; offers VR Toolkits of hardware, software and curriculum to nonprofits, arts organizations and libraries; and has collaborated to create VR content, events and training programs with the Boston Globe, the United Nations, Women in Next Realities, Boston VR, the Town of Brookline, and the Northampton Film Festival.

About STAT

https://www.statnews.com

STAT is a national publication focused on finding and telling compelling stories about health, medicine and scientific discovery. We produce daily news, investigative articles, and narrative projects in addition to multimedia features. We tell our stories from the places that matter to our reader– research labs, hospitals, executive suites, and political campaigns.

https://www.statnews.com/2017/10/20/360-videos-ebola-lab/