Insight Brings VR Holiday Experience to Children at Tampa General Hospital
Digital Innovation expert designs immersive sleigh ride with Santa for pediatric patients unable to enjoy holidays at home
For a second straight year, Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ:NSIT) teammates from the company’s Digital Innovation solution area formerly known as Cardinal Solutions, brought a virtual reality (VR) holiday gaming experience to pediatric patients at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) on Dec. 12.
The Insight team created a virtual getaway for patients undergoing treatment at the TGH Children’s Medical Center who are unable to celebrate the holidays at home this year. The children and their families donned Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and mobile VR headsets provided by Insight volunteers to immerse themselves in the VR game, “Holiday Madness,” and a magical sleigh ride with Santa to gather presents at the North Pole.
Matt Fedorovich, Insight’s national lead for immersive technology, created the VR experience and last year’s game that saw children fending off flying presents from magical cannons. This was a change in gears for the Insight Digital Innovation team, which normally develops personalized apps, including extended-reality experiences, to enhance how businesses connect with consumers and how workers collaborate.
“The holiday idea arose when I saw an article about how VR was helping enable therapy in a hospital setting, and I thought we could apply what we do in a way that brings smiles to children who could use a little distraction during the holidays,” said Fedorovich. “This also was a natural opportunity to tie into Insight’s charitable giving mission to enrich children’s lives through a shared love for technology.”
Wileska Rivera, a former TGH employee and a mother of one of the patients, said the VR experience helped children “keep their spirits up.”
“I never imagined being on this side of patient care. Days like today help give my daughter a different perspective on her current health challenges as she is able to see that other children are also facing a difficult time in their life. I am extremely thankful for this support to help get our family through a tough time, especially during the holidays,” said Rivera.
Insight’s Tampa teammates also donated toys to the hospital’s annual Angel Tree drive, with donations going to the Foster Angels of Hillsborough County.
Fedorovich said the vast imagination of children and their knack for connecting with new technology made the 360-degree, full-body movement VR experience even more inspiring.
“The kids didn’t want to take the headsets off, and I didn’t realize how much of an impact it would have on the parents too. Some of these kids have had their worlds turned upside down by illness, and their parents just wanted to see them happier. I had a parent come up to me and say they hadn’t seen their son move like that in months. This really resonated with me as a new parent, and I knew we were doing something right by bringing this technology to the hospital,” he said.
Steve Brown, a digital solutions practice manager at Insight, added: “Giving children access to the most cutting-edge technology can spark their sense of what’s possible and inspire them to consider tech-related careers. It makes us feel good when we see light bulbs go off when we bring a little piece of that to them.”
Today, every business is a technology business. Insight Enterprises Inc. empowers organizations of all sizes with Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ and services to maximize the business value of IT. As a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of Digital Innovation, Cloud + Data Center Transformation, Connected Workforce, and Supply Chain Optimization solutions and services, we help clients successfully manage their IT today while transforming for tomorrow. From IT strategy and design to implementation and management, our 6,600+ employees help clients innovate and optimize their operations to run business smarter. Discover more at www.insight.com. NSIT-M