Immersive Journalism Partnership with the Boston Globe

Immersive Storytelling at the Intersection of Media, Health, Medicine and Scientific Discovery in Boston (360)

The STAT news team from the Boston Globe, 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 on your phone, and were screened live to over 1200 participants at Boston’s HUBWEEK in October 2017.

Raising Ebola

Research on dangerous pathogens like Ebola happens inside a highly secure biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) lab. Elke Mühlberger, a researcher at the National Emerging Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL), 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 everything from fillings to crowns.

Code Blue

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


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 readers — research labs, hospitals, executive suites, and political campaigns.

The Public VR Lab

The Public VR Lab, founded in April 2016, is a collaborative efort based in Massachusetts to create a national and international network of Community VR projects around the U.S. who are facilitating public dialvogue about the paradigm shift to VR/AR; providing training and project-based learning around new VR-related technologies; supporting the community knowledge and creation of 360, virtual and augmented content and immersive journalism; providing access to equipment, tools, headsets and professional expertise to residents, local municipalities, news media, libraries, businesses, arts and cultural organizations and community centers; and are generating locally-focused, in the public interest, VR/AR experiences.