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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
3D maps lead visitors to patients
James Cook hospital
The hospital employs almost 7,000 people
Virtual reality is being used to help visitors to one of Europe's largest hospitals find patients.

Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital employs almost 7,000 people and has more than 1,000 beds.

Some visitors have complained that it is difficult to navigate the dozens of corridors to find the wards they want.

Now a Teesside IT design company has installed a unique virtual reality system, which maps out routes for visitors by accessing special consoles.

Middlesbrough-based Amazing Interactives has mapped every corridor, ward, department and office in the hospital.

Best route

Visitors who access touch screen terminals at various points throughout the hospital are then given a three dimensional route to their desired destination.

Business development director at Amazing Interactives, Tim Dear, said: "People can use a pleasant to look at touch screen and tap in where they want to go.

"The system then flies them down the best route and shows them exactly how to get to where they want to be.

"We have been talking to the hospital for some time about the problems of getting people around what is a very large site.

"We are sure this will help reduce the time people spend trying to find wards and their loved ones, which be very stressful, especially if you are new to the hospital."


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