The OpenWindow project was a 5 year clinical randomised control trial that evaluated the impact of an art intervention on the 'health-related quality of life' of patients undergoing a bone-marrow transplant for the treatment of leukaemia. The trial took place between August 2004 and September 2009 in the National Bone Marrow transplant unit in St.James Hospital, Dublin.
Transplant patients have to spend long periods of time in protective isolation in the hospital to prevent infection. During this time, they have very limited contact with family, friends, and the outside world. OpenWindow was designed to connect patients to the outside world using telepresence technology and art video. Working in collaboration with M.I.T Media lab, Curating Artist, Denis Roche created a 'Virtual Window' that was projected onto the wall at the foot of the patients bed. Patients were able to view images and video of the outside world in their hospital room.The results of the trial showed that patients with access to OpenWindow had significant reductions in levels of anxiety and depression. You can read about the study in the Journal of Psycho-Oncology and other publications below.
A number of Irish and international artists were commissioned for the OpenWindow project including:
John Gerrard, Barrie Cooke, Brian Maguire, Nick Miller Emma Finucane, Paul O' Connor, Emer Boyle, Andy Folan, Anthony Lyttle, Aoife McM Kavanagh, Paul Monaghan, Kurt Ralske
The OpenWindow project team has presented their research at a number of museums, research hospitals and cultural institutions including MoMA, IMMA, The Smithsonian Institute, the US National Naval Hospital, the US National Institutes of Health and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
In 2011, Denis Roche was awarded an Arthur Guinness Fellowship to bring OpenWindow to residents of residential care centres in Ireland
Images of 'Virtual Window' in patient room, St.James Hospital, Dublin.
Director - Prof Shaun McCann, Consultant Haematologist, St.James Hospital Dublin.
Curating Artist - Denis Roche, Dept of Fine Art, National College of Art & Design, Dublin.
PhD Researcher - Prof. Catherine McCabe, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin.
Project Manager - Fran Hegarty, Senior Medical Physicist, St.James Hospital, Dublin.
Sponsors - Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust, Irish Cancer Society, St.James Hospital, Vodafone, the Arts Council, Apple, Native Instruments