AE hosts session on reducing health care costs, improving quality

On Sept. 22 Penn State's Department of Architectural Engineering hosted a session titled "Using Virtual Reality to Construct/Remodel Health Care Facilities and Independent Housing."

The session was part of the Pennsylvania Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (PARF) annual conference which defines the agenda for the Commonwealth's disability community. PARF is a statewide organization of facilities serving individuals with physical, mental, social and/or emotional disabilities. This year, for the first time since PARF was established in 1969, the organization reached out to Penn State for its expertise in virtual technology. Gene Bianco, PARF's CEO and president explained, "I was impressed by the ability of 3-D and 4-D technology to help our membership cut costs while increasing quality."

Architectural engineering graduate student Sonali Kumar demonstrated various aspects of virtual reality. Highlighted was the work she has done in creating an animated 3-D model of a residence designed for an elderly family whose members may have a disability or may develop one over the course of the aging process.

Joseph Fagnani, an Altoona, Pa., based visual disabilities advocate, provided the prospective of what the needs of an independent living facility are for those residents who have visual disabilities. Fagnani, who is legally blind, has been working with the architectural engineering department on providing design suggestions and advice on how construction should takes place for those who are visually impaired.

Presenters also included professors John Messner, associate professor of architectural engineering, and research in adaptive aging at the Smart Spaces Center, directed by Richard Behr, professor of architectural engineering. 

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Last Updated September 27, 2011