No matter what age people, medical treatments can be quite frightening for different reasons. Even if patients requested pain medication, fear of pain has not been canceled. But Lenovo, in conjunction with the research Foundation Starlight had conducted a pilot test virtual reality headsets as an alternative analgesic for children, distracting patients from what is really going on around them.
How virtual reality can help relieve pain
Pilot project Fund Starlight was conducted in U.S. hospitals in the past year, and he revealed that doctors found a virtual reality a very useful tool in conducting a series of manipulations. For example, health workers successfully perform a number of invasive procedures such as endoscopy, in combination with local anesthesia (although I had to use General anesthesia). Other manipulations at the same time do not require combined with VR anesthesia at all.
The human brain has a limited “bandwidth” for what he can pay attention”, — explains the Director of Children’s hospital Colorado Child Life Joe Albeit, doctor of medical Sciences, and one of the program participants of the project Starlight. The more I can involve you in the virtual experience, the less your brain is able to perceive the pain signals that come into it. And if he doesn’t pay attention to them, they do not cause discomfort.
At the moment the technology is at an early stage and is not created specific tools and applications. That is, in fact, you can collect yourself a set. In the pilot program used a VR headset Mirage Solo VR from Sony and the usual games and apps available for them. How do you feel about such a non-standard application of VR technology? Tell us about it in our chat in Telegram.
Children participating in the project are easily endured the procedure of the collection of cerebrospinal fluid, bandaging of the injured limb, enjoying the day and not focusing on medical devices or injuries. This has a profound impact on the quality of life of patients, says Dr. Albaz. We see that children, who previously needed a General anaesthetic can now partially refuse it.
However, such a manipulation, according to experts, the use of virtual reality is not limited. VR can be used for simple surgical procedures and rehabilitation of sick children with the aim of returning them to normal life.
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It is also worth considering that the pilot program does not imply the use of special equipment and applications. And development of more high-quality headsets and medical VR applications can further enhance the effect of immersion and therefore improved a favorable impact on patients. Of course, on the complete replacement of anaesthetics out of the question. But to use VR as an alternative to reduce the pain threshold? Why not! Ultimately, new technology must not only entertain, but also to help people in other areas of life.