Healthcare in a Virtual Environment: Workload and Simulation Sickness in a 3D CAVE

  • Peter HoonakkerEmail author
  • Gail Casper
  • Alex Peer
  • Catherine Arnott Smith
  • Ross Tredinnick
  • Nicole Werner
  • Kevin Ponto
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 822)


Much of patient care takes places in patients’ homes, but we do know very little about how patients deal with their health and chronic illness condition(s) while at home and how the physical environment can have an impact on their care. In this study, we focus on patients’ management of their personal health information management (PHIM) in the home.

To enable repeated assessment of a set of constant stimuli, we have scanned 20 different households that we subsequently rendered for viewing in a 3-D virtual cave (VR) CAVE. Study participants identified features in the virtual home models that they considered useful for PHIM.

Using the VR CAVE has many advantages. It enables all participants to experience the same stimulus in precisely the same condition, and it allows for standardization of the study procedures. However, we know relatively little about the impact the VR CAVE experience has on workload and simulation sickness, and if these interfere with task performance. In this study, we examine the relationship between time spent in the CAVE (duration), the number of frames rendered per second (framerate), the experienced workload and simulation sickness symptoms.

Results show that performing tasks in the CAVE required some effort, particularly mental workload. Only a few participants reported minor simulation sickness symptoms, such as dizziness, headache or eyestrain. Apart from a correlation between duration and workload, we did not find a significant relation between exposure, framerates, workload, and simulation sickness.


Virtual reality Personal health information management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Hoonakker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gail Casper
    • 1
  • Alex Peer
    • 1
  • Catherine Arnott Smith
    • 1
  • Ross Tredinnick
    • 1
  • Nicole Werner
    • 1
  • Kevin Ponto
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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