XRHealth has announced that it is working with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center to offer virtual reality (VR) telehealth services to patients exposed to coronavirus who are quarantined at the hospital, and to monitor their return home.
The partnership will see the patients be provided with access to VR headsets equipped with the company’s extended reality technology solutions and data analysis, as well as apps that they can use to take virtual tours of various destinations.
“The ability to strap on a headset, lay back, relax and virtually visit any location they want will help patients to remain connected with the world and cope with feelings of isolation while being quarantined,” Eran Orr, CEO of XRHealth, said in a statement. “Our VR treatment platform also has programs that assist in working though [sic] stress and anxiety, which obviously are also prominent concerns for those being treated for coronavirus.”
WHY IT MATTERS
As the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to increase, last week, Israel’s health ministry was reported to have urged people to refrain from travelling abroad unless they needed to.
At this time, there are 12 confirmed cases in the country, with two of the ones announced yesterday involving citizens that had recently travelled to Italy, the worst-affected country in Europe.
According to the latest situation report from the World Health Organization, as of the morning of 2 March, there were nearly 89,000 cases confirmed globally, with over 80,000 in China and around 9,000 outside, while the global death toll surpassed 3,000.
THE LARGER PICTURE
Sheba Medical Center first announced that it would partner with XRHealth to set up a ‘fully VR-based hospital’ last year, which will use the company’s technology in every department.
Last month, MobiHealthNews reported that the hospital also planned to use Datos's remote patient monitoring platform, Tyto Care's connected devices and a robot from InTouch Health to help treat and monitor coronavirus-exposed patients.
Professor Ran Balicer, chief innovation officer of Clalit Health Services, founding director of the Clalit Research Institute in Israel and advisor to the Israeli health ministry, also gave MobiHealthNews an update on the situation in the country on Friday.
ON THE RECORD
“We are excited to have multiple telemedicine technologies already on board to protect our staff and we welcome the addition of VR telehealth services as a treatment tool for patients,” Dr Galia Barkai, head of telemedicine at Sheba, said in a statement. “The ability to stay in touch with the outside world will certainly help the mental state of those quarantined for extended periods.”