Bringing the outside in

In Flanders, about 75,000 people call a residential care centre their home. They are surrounded every day with the best possible care, but recent technological innovations offer the opportunity to further positively influence the quality of life of these residents. 360° video is one such new technology that allows you to immerse yourself in virtual environments with a simple headset.


Since 2018, the Expertise Unit Psychology, Technology & Society of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences has been exploring the potential of this immersive 360° video in residential care centres. Together with various partners, we are looking into whether virtual environments can be a form of high-quality recreation for this specific target group. After all, a challenging, stimulating and meaningful day are very important for the well-being of the residents.

Pilot project
In this first pilot project, interested residents of 6 participating residential care centres were therefore given the opportunity to experience this recent technology. A VR goggle, the Oculus GO, brought them back to public places in the municipalities where the residential care centres are located, among other things. In other words, we really brought the outside world into their living environment, hence the name of the study: Buiten Binnen Brengen. They were also given the opportunity to see relaxing scenes, such as a walk in the woods and a day at the seaside. 

Practice-oriented research
The research focused mainly on how residents experience 360° video, on what wishes they had in terms of support from the care team and on the content of the images offered. The results will be published shortly.

With the support of 6 partners
Partners who put their shoulders under this study are the residential and care homes Ambroos in Hofstade, Ten Kerselaere in Heist-op-den-Berg, Hof van Arenberg in Duffel, Sint-Jozef in Wommelgem, and the residential care centres Sint-Pieter in Puurs and Ter Schelde in Sint-Amands.

Continuation within TETRA Immersive Care

Within the VLAIO TETRA project Immersive Care this research is currently being continued. Read more about this on the project website.


The research team consists of clinical psychologists Dr Marc Roelands and Dr Tom Van Daele. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Would you like to know more about the Psychology, Technology & Society Department of Applied Psychology Training, Thomas More? Then take a look at the website.

This practice-oriented research could only be realized in close collaboration with our partners.