Paediatric Cardiologists Introduce VR Technology to Children’s Healthcare
Three VR projects at Stanford Children's Hospital are currently under testing.
Three new projects are in development at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford that utilise virtual reality (VR) technology to improve the education, health and hospital experience of children who require medical care.
The three projects include the Stanford Virtual Heart, which allows doctors to explain often complex congenital heart defects to children and their parents by using a VR model of a heart, which patients or their parents can go inside of using VR headset to see the place where the defect is located and understand how it can affect health. Another example is Project Brave Heart, a VR program to help patients understand the procedures they will undergo as well as assist in learning relaxation techniques to help reduce distress and anxiety. Thirdly, there is the use of 3D VR modelling to help surgeons map the route during a complex procedure and practice the series of actions they will need to take by using images previously gathered from CT and MRI scans and converting them into a complete 3D model.
The three programs are currently in fairly early stages of development and implementation, but doctors hope that is the programs prove successful, they can be expanded into other hospital departments to help children with many types of conditions such as cancer, hearing issues and neurological diseases.
“Because we are situated in Silicon Valley, we are in an ideal position to be a vanguard in this space and to partner with the companies that are on the cutting edge of this technology,” says Stephen Roth, MD, MPH, chief of paediatric cardiology and director of the Children’s Heart Centre. “Thanks to our collaborators and supporters, we’ve leveraged this technology to make real progress in the medical field that can spread far beyond Stanford. It’s truly state-of-the-art, and we are very excited about it.”
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