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pulse design group

Cardinal Health: Improving Sales with Virtual Reality

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Cardinal Health: Improving Sales with Virtual Reality

Cardinal Health worked hand-in-hand with Pulse Design Group to launch a new Virtual Reality customer experience for Cardinal Health’s Inventory Management Sales Solution. This exciting new tool is specifically designed to increase sales, shorten the sales cycle, and further position Cardinal Health as an innovative leader in the healthcare industry.

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Implications for health systems regarding USP 797/800 compliance standards

Millions of prescriptions are compounded by pharmacists, nurses and doctors each year in the United States to meet the unique needs of patients who otherwise may not have access to the required medicine in the right concentration or dosage. Understanding of the inherent risks of compounding and incorporating established USP standards into everyday practices is essential for patient and staff safety.

New regulations set forth by the United States Pharmacopeia’s USP 797 and USP 800 were recently established and adopted to include workroom air pressure requirements, specialized work flows, isolation measures and sterility conditions related to compounding. What do these new standards involve and what do they mean for healthcare organizations?

USP 797 helps to ensure patients receive quality preparations that are free from contaminants and are consistent in intended identity, strength and potency. It describes a number of requirements including responsibilities of compounding personnel, training, environmental monitoring, storage and testing of finished preparation.

USP 800 provides standards for safe handling of hazardous drugs to minimize the risk of exposure to healthcare personnel, patients and the environment. USP 800 deals with product transport, product storage, compounding, preparation, and administration of products.

The regulations exact enforcement fluctuates by state, however current USP mandates require that compliant facilities and practices must be implemented by December 31, 2019. These new statutes affect public and private sector pharmacies and will require, in many cases, substantial capital investments in infrastructure and personnel to meet the new regulations.

The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

USP 797 and 800 standards have pushed architectural firms to come up with creative design solutions to help healthcare systems meet compliance standards while being mindful of the organizations bottom line. One effective design solution for clean room pharmacy compliance and upgrades is the utilization of specialized pass-throughs, which is commonly used in pharmacies for drug preparation. Clean rooms are pressurized and sterile to ensure that drugs are safe. Pass-throughs are two-sided cabinets built into a wall to connect the pharmacy and the clean room for the transfer of supplies and drugs without jeopardizing sterility. When done properly, only one door of the pass-through can be open at a time, which keeps the pressurized system intact, preventing any contaminants from entering the clean room.

In the past, most pass-throughs were constructed of stainless steel and involved mechanical interlocks, but recently there have been newly developed systems that effectively utilize solid surface. The advantages of solid surface includes its properties of being nonporous, bacteria-resistant, stain resistant and durable, which makes it well-suited for sterile environments. Other benefits include its ability to be fully seamless for cleaning and is typically less expensive to fabricate than stainless steel. Moreover, the material’s flexibility easily integrates electrical fixtures better than other products.

The Joint Commission will enforce penalties to healthcare systems that do not meet compliance standards by the established date. Reference the Joint Commission article by clicking here for more information regarding USP 797 and 800 compliance and to understand the benefits of obtaining Medication Compounding Certification.

The extent of pharmacy design modifications relies heavily on the compliance of the current space. Not only will the pharmacy design and operations need to be modified to adhere to current regulations, many times the footprint is required to significantly grow. The timing required to implement these measures can be extensive and procedures and operations will likely be affected. Health systems should be preparing compliance plans early to ensure a smooth transition.

The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

Mixed Reality

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Mixed Reality

It's difficult to really understand what virtual reality is like without putting a headset on your face. Mixed reality video, a combination of physical and virtual image capture, is probably the best means to explain what a VR experience is like without the use of a headset.

Let's talk about what that means and how we're utilizing exciting new technology like the Vive Tracker to improve communication with our audience.

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Photogrammetry: About As Real As It Gets

I am standing in the auditorium of an old abandoned German hospital. I can see dust across the room as it falls through a beam of light coming through a window. Above me, I can see the rafters of the abandoned architecture as if they were actually thirty feet above me. Scuff marks, upended tiles, and piles dirt across the floor indicate that the building has been uninhabited for several decades. An old abandoned piano is situated in the center of the room. What I see around me is unequivocally real. Well, as real as photographic reality capture can get. The program created by Realities.io hosts recreations of several different environments from across the globe.

realities_piano

Simply put, "photogrammetry" is the science of making measurements from photographs. Over the past few years, photogrammetry has become a popular method for recreating real objects, locations, and people as 3D models. Recognizing that the lines between real and virtually real blur more and more everyday, we sought out to improve our photogrammetry capabilities to allow us to take real elements into less-than-real environments. Realistically captured elements could be used in architecture to show complicated designs in virtual reality or to preserve past creations as you would with a photograph.


Before discussing how we went through this process, let's talk about drawbacks. The photo capture process can take a significant amount of time. Some photos may need to be eliminated, retouched, or entirely removed from the series of photos in order for the final photographic recreation to be realistic. Additionally, the 3D mesh that is constructed by the process can have significant errors, artifacts, and glitches. Some objects are easier to capture than others; reflective surfaces, people, and objects shot with moving backgrounds are notoriously difficult to recreate. That being said, the software used to stitch these objects together is rapidly improving.

Our goal was to use photogrammetry to recreate my self in VR as a 3d object so that I could be used as a stand-in character for realistic simulations. Rather than using mannequins, cut-out character silhouettes, or stylistic video game-y assets, we thought that using realistically captured 3D figures would have a greater impact.

Don't worry, it gets weirder.

Source: Tested.com

Source: Tested.com

In this article by Tested, the crew assembles a series of flat lights that provide clean, even, and balanced lighting on the model's face. For reality capture, you want your original 3D model to be lit as flat as possible. Lights, shadows, and reflections are all calculated in the VR simulation program (Unreal Engine, Unity, Cryengine, etc.)

Avoid reflections, bright lights, and moving elements. Any sort of movement in the scene can cause issues with the photo calculation. Basically, avoid everything that we did in our first attempt:

In our first attempt, Callum captured close to 200 pictures from varying angles around the room. The most difficult part of this attempt was getting me to keep my arms parallel to the floor for the duration of the shoot - a much more difficult feat than I had imagined. I did not initially understand how difficult it can be to remain perfectly still for several minutes. Optimally, the person being captured should not blink, talk, or turn their head. Breathing is acceptable though not encouraged. The model that was stitched together in Autodesk Remake had serious calculation issues caused by movement in our setting, so we gave it a second attempt. 


photogrammetry_pulse_design_group_polys

In our second attempt, we propped my hands with tripods to ensure that they would be perfectly parallel to the floor. After the capture, we simply removed the tripods from the 3D file. The 3D model had a significantly higher level of quality and resolution than our first attempt.

After exporting to an FBX file format to 3DS Max, we processed and rigged the 3D model for VR. The file is extremely high-poly (solid 3D models are composed of meshes of polygons. This had hundreds of thousands of polygons.) For optimization, we could manually reduce quality from parts of the image. In a scene with multiple photogrammetry captured characters, it would be essential to reduce the polygon resolution of as many models as possible. Additionally, I was able to process and touch-up the created photographic textures in Photoshop to ensure that lighting and shadows were even - especially across the front of the 3D model.

In the future, photogrammetry will become easier as the means for positional calculation become more advanced. If we were to have captured our images with higher resolution cameras and with uncompressed file formats, we would have had less problems with compression and color depth. Perhaps new phones with multiple camera sensors will bring photogrammetry to the masses with easy-to-use tools for development and distribution.

photogrammetry_scene

Website Launch

We launched our new website! Check it out at www.pulsedesigngroup.com.