How do we design medical workspaces?

Ever wondered how medical facilities are designed? EnVision 360 is a 3D interactive tool which simplifies what was once a lengthy and complex process.
A computer generated 3D recreation of several interconnected medical spaces. In the middle is a scanning room, containing a CT scanner and other medical machines.
Jacqueline de Graaf

Written by Jacqueline de Graaf

European Senior Project Manager Marketing, Canon Medical Systems Europe

Canon Medical Systems Switzerland is one of the first of our European offices to adopt a new software called EnVision 360 ­­– it’s the first interactive 3D site planning tool designed specifically for Canon Medical imaging equipment. As the new tool rolls out, Project Manager Marcel Loepfe explains how it’s already delivering benefits to customers and Canon Medical experts.

The software creates photorealistic and interactive 3D renderings of highly specialised equipment and room layouts, bringing new efficiency to the planning process by customising these spaces in real-time. Previously, to design such rooms could take weeks, but this new tool makes it possible to do the same work in a single planning meeting. "Collaboration with our customers can be maximised by using easy-to-understand 3D visualisations at all points of their project – right through from tender to sales to installation and go-live," explains Marcel.

"Designing medical facilities involves long-term decisions, with the eventual room in use for ten to fifteen years." Yet, in the past, there were elements of the design which could only really be determined during the construction phase, and at that time existing 3D solutions simply didn’t have the sophistication to offer variations, comparisons and live collaborations. Comparatively, adds Marcel, "EnVision 360 is easy to use, fast and gives results in 3D that reflect realistic layouts and room situations.”

A computer generated 3D recreation of a scanning room. A patient lies on a gurney, underneath a scanner. Three clinicians in scrubs surround them. In the room there are medical machines and a screen showing scans.

Clear and adaptable

Until now, it was standard procedure in medical site planning to create 2D AutoCAD drawings and order 3D renderings of a specific room as required. "Some customers and end-users were distracted by the overlapping of ceiling and floor units in those drawings, which gave the impression of a crowded room," recalls Marcel. Based on the same room layouts imported from AutoCAD, a detailed and realistic room (or even a complete ward!) can now be generated – even manipulated – and changed in a single online session. "We have already had customer meetings in which the room layouts are simulated and changed on the fly with all stakeholders present and part of the discussion," he explains. "This leads to fewer AutoCAD drawing variations and time-consuming radioprotection adaptations, as the room layout and ergonomics have already been seen and demonstrated to the end-users during creation.

We can visualise the customer's building as a base, then – with the complete Canon portfolio at hand to drag-and-drop in – we can implement different modalities and solutions in real-time. This helps to demonstrate the real benefits of the respective solution in terms of space, ergonomics, workflow and aesthetics and the feasibility of a certain system in a room can be proven within minutes." When teamed with the MyVisit virtual site visit platform, customers have an additional element that can aid in accurate site planning. "EnVision 360 is a great complement to our 'MvVisit' virtual site visit and enables the customer to view their own building virtually with very realistic situations including patients, users, equipment, accessories and furniture."

A computer generated 3D recreation of a scanning room with a CT scanner in the middle. In the room there are also medical machines.

Inclusive planning

The software is powerful enough to create detailed walkthroughs or real-time customer presentations that support brainstorming sessions. "We can approach the planning of health facilities as an inclusive process – lots of people from different functions join the EnVision 360 meeting and add their input… That's a huge plus point across the board.” Says Marcel. In presentations, he feels comfortable switching between it and other software applications, such as PowerPoint, to address questions and demonstrate on the spot. "For example, if somebody would like to know: "What can I see from the control room?" or "What is my view of anaesthesia?" You can answer that straight away. You don't need to revert back to them with an answer later on."

He recalls his latest 4D-CT project, where multiple stakeholders – Radiologists, Radiographers, Nurses, Anaesthesia and MedTech – were gathered at a round table. While discussing the new room layout, Marcel and his team were able to demonstrate, in real-time, the possibilities and advantages of rotating the system 180°. "We were able to get immediate feedback and arguments without having to create many iterations of 2D drawings back and forth,” he explains. “The fact that the decisions made will last for many years with the system, reinforces the importance of a realistic visualisation and simulation."

Learn more about project management with Canon Medical. This article is kindly abstracted from Canon Medical Systems Europe VISIONS magazine #39.

Jacqueline de Graaf

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