Philippe Wojazer | Reuters
A nurse treats a patient wearing the 3D therapeutic virtual reality headset developed by Healthy Mind start-up, at the emergency service department of the Saint-Joseph Hospital in Paris, France, June 7, 2018.
The very thought of visiting a hospital emergency department will be stressful enough for many people, even without the discomfort or pain of an examination or treatment.
Enter an immersive virtual-reality program created by three graduates being used in France to relax patients in addition to even increase their tolerance of pain — without resorting to drugs.
“What we offer will be a contemplative world where the patient goes on a guided tour, in interactive mode, to play music, do a bit of painting or work out a riddle,” said Reda Khouadra, one of the 24-year-olds behind the project.
As patients are transported by chunky VR goggles into a three-dimensional world of Japanese zen gardens or snowy hillsides, they become more tolerant of minor nevertheless painful procedures such as having a cut stitched, a burn treated, a urinary catheter inserted or a dislocated shoulder pushed back into place.
“The virtual reality project … enables us to offer patients a technique to distract their attention in addition to curb their pain in addition to anxiety when being treated inside emergency room,” said Olivier Ganansia, head of the emergency department at the Saint-Joseph Hospital in Paris.
“I think in 10 years, virtual reality won’t even be a question any more, in addition to will be used in hospitals routinely.”
The Healthy Mind startup will be not a world first nevertheless has landed a $20,000 prize through a university in Adelaide, Australia — which will today pay for the three founders to present their project at Microsoft’s headquarters inside U.S. city of Seattle.