From reducing pain in childbirth to helping train new doctors, new uses for virtual reality are sprouting up all over the healthcare industry. Now VR is going to be used to show hospital patients relaxation videos thanks to a new partnership between XRHealth (formerly VRHealth) and Healing Healthcare Systems.
As part of the deal participating hospitals will gain access to XRHealth’s VRHealth platform, which includes VR medical apps and cognitive assessments as well as apps for motor function, pain management and behavioral change.
Additionally, from Healing HealthCare Systems, hospitals will get the C.A.R.E VRx Channel, which uses VR to put patients in calming settings like a waterfall or the woods.
“C.A.R.E. VRx makes the natural world real within the four walls of the patient’s room,” Susan Mazer, CEO of Healing HealthCare Systems, said in a statement. “Studies have also shown that immersive 360-degree experiences can calm and distract patients, reducing their perception of pain.”
WHY IT MATTERS
While still a relatively new technology, VR is starting to be used in hospital studies to help patients deal with pain and stress. Researchers are continuing to work on validating the technology, but studies have started to show positive results.
For example, last week a study in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that young patients who used a VR system when getting a needle reported experiencing less pain than their counterparts receiving standard of care.
Additionally, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that using VR in a clinical setting reduced acute procedural pain and anxiety in patients compared to using the standard of care.
WHAT'S THE TREND
With offices in Boston and Tel Aviv, XRHealth has been best known for its VR applications since its inception.
Most recently it launched a new virtual reality product aimed at curbing hot flashes, called Luna. In February the company released results of a small study that found that breast cancer patients and survivors using the VR tool reported feeling 50% fewer hot flashes and night sweats than at baseline.
ON THE RECORD
“Hospitals realize that providing a comforting experience for patients is crucial so that they are both relaxed and engaged during medical procedures, hospitalizations, or other clinical events,” Eran Orr, CEO of XRHealth, said in a statement. “VR solutions gives hospitals a competitive advantage by offering their patients cutting edge solutions that drastically improve the patient experience.”
Focus on Patient Experience
In May, we'll talk to the thought leaders and first-movers reimagining how and where — Hint: outside their perimeter — and report on how they're to activate if not delight the people they treat.