nexum develops the «Kinderinsel» VR app in cooperation with Bern’s Inselspital

  • Using a VR app to combat hospital anxiety in children
  • Development of the didactic approach
  • Development of the story
  • Creation of the texts
  • Creation and design of various 3D-animated protagonists 

«Kinderinsel» is nexum’s unique Virtual Reality app for the paediatric surgery unit of Bern’s Inselspital university hospital. Developed for children between the ages of five and ten as well as their parents, the smartphone app and a pair of custom «Kinderinsel» cardboard glasses help prepare young patients for the experience of surgery. The innovative VR app is designed to give its young users a positive time to counter any worries and anxieties they may feel.

Virtual Reality making hospitals more welcoming for young patients

The three chapters of the app use narrative and exploratory elements to activate its users: a captivating VR story that the users can get immersed in, a virtual operating theatre they can interact with, and a 360° video tour to explore and discover. On their journey, the young users get to meet the app’s delightful mascot – Kimi, the «Kinderinsel» penguin – who tells them more about their planned treatment.

As the teaching hospital of the University of Bern, the Inselspital occupies a prominent role in the Swiss health sector. With around 8300 medical and nursing professionals looking after approx. 44000 inpatients alone every year, it is not only one of the largest healthcare institutions of Switzerland, but also an internationally renowned hub of cutting-edge medical technology, knowledge, and competence.

From a focus group to a finished VR solution

nexum created and built the novel Virtual Reality app in a carefully designed process, beginning with the choice of the right didactic approach, imagining the story the app should tell, drafting the texts, creating and bringing to life a crew of animated 3D protagonists (Kimi, the penguin, the young patients and their parents, a number of medical professionals and others), and finally building and realizing the app with the Unreal VR development engine. All of this was preceded by a series of focus group workshops to understand the target group’s expectations and wishes and learn more about young patients’ worries and anxieties when waiting for surgery.

Taking children by the (virtual) hand

The «Kinderinsel» app was designed with children in mind, but explicitly also involves the parents of young patients. This makes the special mirroring function designed and implemented by nexum a key feature of the app: Parents can use a second smartphone to follow their children and see what they are seeing, doing, and experiencing in the virtual world.

Fighting the fear of hospitals

Having to undergo surgery is a distressing prospect for more than half of all children. In extreme cases, their anxieties can have a real and tangible negative impact on post-surgery recovery and the healing process overall.

Welcome to "Kinderinsel"

Discover the app

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Marc Leuenberger

Marc Leuenberger


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