SONIFI Health and Shaftesbury Work On Therapeutic VR

SONIFI and Shaftesbury VR team up to create drug-free pain and stress management system using VR.

Though hospitals are places where people go to get better, for many people the clinical environment is stressful and not conducive to healing. SONIFI Health in partnership with virtual reality (VR) content company Shaftesbury VR is using VR to tackle this problem.

The two companies have teamed up to create the Positive Distraction Entertainment System, or PDES, which is comprised of a suite of VR experiences and videogames that are aimed at promoting better patient outcomes by reducing stress and pain, without needing medication. The game engine is designed to dynamically adapt to each patient to create a sense of flow and calm. The system can even in adapted for special requirements such as sound or light sensitivity.

The aim for SONIFI is to integrate this system, along with VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) into its interactive patient engagement system in hospitals, so doctors can offer distraction therapy alongside traditional pain and stress management.

“Particularly now, the healthcare industry is looking for safe, drug-free choices to help manage pain and stress,” said Bob Sullivan, General Manager, SONIFI Health. “SONIFI Health is thrilled to work with Shaftesbury VR to bring this clinically-tested experience to our clients and ultimately to patients seeking comfort.”

“We are proud and excited to take Shaftesbury’s renowned entertainment pedigree into the VR marketplace with a niche focus on the growing health and wellness industry,” said Jay Bennett, SVP Creative & Innovation, Shaftesbury. “We see a range of opportunities to connect with new audiences, in new ways, through the power of storytelling. We are thrilled to be working with SONIFI Health to explore the promising future of VR and the life-changing difference we can make at the intersection of entertainment and healthcare.”

The Shaftesbury VR system currently offers twelve titles, which are:

  • Enchanted Forest: Built for children of all ages and designed to capture attention & induce calm

  • Bubble Bloom: An under-the-sea experience where users can blow bubbles at passing fish, creating a deep sense of flow

  • Aurora: Users control the lights of the Aurora Borealis while collecting fireflies

  • Morning Devotion: This peaceful setting with spiritual content includes scripture reading

  • Zen Garden: Place of health, harmony and the balance of nature

  • HD Video Experiences: Instructions for guided breathing and meditation

VRFocus will bring you further news on medical VR projects as it becomes available.

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