It is becoming increasingly common to see virtual reality (VR) technology used in healthcare. Dentists are being taught new procedures using VR and cardiologists are explaining complex medical conditions with use of 3D VR models. That isn’t the only application, however, as some doctors are using VR to help patients escape the hospital environment for a while.
St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida has received an installation called the Infusionarium, an immersive virtual reality system that is specifically designed for young patients to help them relax after hours of chemotherapy and other treatments.
The system was designed by a former Disney Imagineer, Roger Holzburg who is the co-founder of Reimagine Well, a company which is attempting to create what is describes as immersive healing environments. Holzburg said: “Every month we go out and ask our patients, if you could heal anywhere in the universe, and there were absolutely no rules, what place would best promote your healing?”
Paediatric Haematology and Oncology specialist at the hospital, Dr. Mark Mogul is enthusiastic about the system. “While kids are in the hospital, to have this escape from the day-to-day routine of taking vital signs, getting blood drawn, chemotherapy – it’s such an amazing opportunity for them,” he said, “This Infusionarium… we’re excited for the kids, but the docs are just as excited for the other docs. It’s an incredible experience!”
The Infusionarium provides a number of experiences and programs that are designed for patients undergoing procedures and treatment such as chemotherapy, dialysis, radiation therapy and more.
There are also disease-specific ‘survival guides’ that provide instructions and resources, presented by scientists and medical experts to help educate and support patients and their families through the treatment process.
VRFocus will continue to bring you the latest on new VR technology for healthcare.