The state of Ohio has awarded Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic $1 million from its capital bill to support technology investments in their joint Health Education Campus, scheduled to open in the summer of 2019.
Leaders of the two institutions pursued the project as an opportunity to reimagine the preparation of health care professionals for an era of dynamic and dramatic change. An essential element of that vision involves providing students and faculty the most advanced teaching, learning and caregiving tools available.
“Health care today is experiencing unprecedented transformation.” said Toby Cosgrove, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. “The new Health Education Campus will provide students the innovative education they need to help shape a better future for patients.”
Part of that forward-thinking instructional approach involves Microsoft HoloLens, a mixed-reality device that allows users to see and interact with three-dimensional holograms. Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic are collaborating on a new anatomy curriculum in which students would learn about the body’s organs and systems with holograms that can mimic movement, disease or any other features a professor wants to teach.
The technology allows a significant departure from the traditional approach to anatomy, which involves extensive hands-on time with cadavers. Medical students who have tried the HoloLens say it would have saved them dozens of hours in anatomy because of its ability to provide multiple angles and cross-sectional views of different parts of the body.
“We deeply appreciate the support of state legislators and Gov. John Kasich,” Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder said. “These investments make an enormous difference in our efforts to advance health care in our community and, ultimately, the world.”
Construction on the 485,000-square-foot Health Education Campus began in October. When complete, the structure will encompass approximately eight-and-a-half football fields of built space and include 5,000 tons of steel. Its four stories will include state-of-the-art classrooms and lecture halls, study and dining areas, and the nation’s first helicopter simulator for flight-nurse training.
Designed by London’s renowned Foster + Partners architects, the building features a 27,000-square-foot atrium that will draw maximum light from a specially engineered roof of movable glass panels. This central open area, as well as the four stories of offices and learning spaces, all aim to encourage interaction among the medical, dental, nursing and allied health students enrolled there. Research shows that patients’ outcomes and levels of satisfaction are higher when they receive treatment from a health care team rather than individuals working separately; the new campus will allow students to learn more about other professions and team-based practice before they graduate—giving them a significant advantage as they begin their careers.
In addition to advanced classroom technology, the Health Education Campus also will feature integrated controls for the management of basic utilities such as plumbing, heating, lighting and shade controls. By including these systems from the start, the building will be significantly more efficient in terms of energy usage and costs. In addition the building will include many more network ports and access points than typical for a building of this size, simply because of expected increases in the use of network and WiFi connectivity.
Finally, as Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University representatives shared with legislators, some of the advanced technology likely to be used in the building hasn’t been invented yet; the building’s architects have been careful to create spaces and systems that can accommodate updates and breakthroughs without knowledge of what they might be.