Case study: Virtual reality of dying process earns national media coverage
Hospice of Southern Maine had the opportunity to partner with the University of New England to offer a virtual reality teaching tool to students and healthcare providers. As part of their curriculum, UNE Osteopathic students are given the opportunity to undergo a 48-hour immersion experience at HSM’s Gosnell House. The end-of-life virtual reality simulation, known as “Clay,” allows users to experience the point of view of a dying individual, from conversations with loved ones and doctors, to physical aspects of the dying process including impairment to the senses.
Hospice of Southern Maine values education as vitally important to its mission, and wanted to leverage their involvement in the development of this innovative tool to communicate its commitment to providing the best possible care, offered by highly trained experts, to the community.
Recognizing that Clay is the only project of its kind in the world, and is best understood through firsthand experience, Fluent planned a media event at the Gosnell House for select reporters. TV and print journalists had the opportunity to test the simulation for themselves, connect with representatives from Hospice of Southern Maine, UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Embodied Labs, the developers of Clay, and interview nurses and medical students.
Reporters from WBUR Boston, New England Cable News, and WMTW attended the event. The TV coverage ultimately reached NBC’s metro markets spanning Boston to New York to DC, reaching millions of viewers. The WBUR CommonHealth piece earned the interest of AirTalk with Larry Mantle on NPR’s L.A. affiliate station. The campaign is still earning media coverage locally and regionally.
Ongoing PR outreach resulted in coverage including:
National interest in the virtual reality story has resulted in a number of speaking engagements for Hospice of Southern Maine, including with:
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
- National Guardian Association
- Senior Care 360Home Care, Hospice & Palliative Care Association of New Hampshire