VR to reduce pain for hospitalised children
A pilot program using VR headsets to distract children during hospital operations has been launched by Lenovo and the Starlight Children’s Foundation as an alternative to using general anaesthetic.
‘Starlight Xperience’ runs on the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream, Google’s VR platform, and is designed to entertain hospitalised children across the US through stimulating immersive experiences that transport children from the hospital through virtual reality.
The VR technology enables pediatricians at Children’s Hospital Colorado and hundreds of Starlight partner hospitals and healthcare facilities in the US to use the headsets as a procedural tool for critically ill young patients, primarily to reduce anxiety during mild to moderately painful procedures. By using VR as a calming distraction, several patients have been able to undergo these procedures whilst awake, cutting down lengthy recovery times, and reducing the need for medication.
Joe Albietz, MD, Medical Director at Child Life, Children’s Hospital Colorado, commented, “Virtual Reality can be used in place of general anesthesia to help tolerate pain, and in fact, it is having a profound impact on the quality of life of our hospitalized children. We are seeing children who used to require general anesthesia, now able to be fully awake with minimal medications.”
Delivered to Starlight’s network of 800+ pediatric partners through its 360-degree program distribution platform, Starlight Xperience offers equipment and content geared toward entertainment and distraction for children.
“As technology transforms the world into a more intelligent and inter-connected place, Starlight Virtual Reality is one of many examples of Lenovo’s commitment to creating smarter technology that transforms society” commented Dilip Bhatia, Vice President of User and Customer Experience, Lenovo .
“We believe this responsibility falls to global technology providers to collectively develop solutions to solve larger societal issues, such as in the health care sector. In addition, our new global survey shows that people around the world share our belief that technology can benefit humankind in crucial areas such as health and wellness.”