In Australia, VR provides relief to patients who want to escape the daily realities of a cancer diagnosis and the hospital setting.
VR technology is increasingly being used to alleviate stress and support social challenges. Here at Springwise, we have written about this project that uses VR to prepare prison inmates for life on the outside, and this VR app that helps prepare children for MRI scans by showing them what to expect during the process. Now, Australian cancer treatment center and hospital, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse has partnered with Samsung Australia and the virtual reality studio Start VR to bring Samsung Gear VR headsets to patients waiting to receive chemotherapy.
Samsung have supplied their virtual reality (VR) technology to help alleviate stress for diagnosed oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. The project showcases the potential for VR to be used as a tool to help ease psychological stress and provide a form of ‘distraction therapy’ during typically arduous chemotherapy treatments. Patients were provided with Samsung Gear VR headsets and the option to select an experience either from the Gear VR store or Start VR’s catalogue. Experiences ranged from transporting patients to a relaxing travel destination, plunging off an airplane in a skydiving stimulating experience, taking a boat ride through the Sydney Harbour, snorkeling through sparkling blue waters and petting Koalas at a zoo.
Head of Content at Start VR, Martin Taylor, explains “Our main goal is to create compelling virtual reality content and initiatives that make a positive impact on the lives of consumers. We wanted to determine if VR had the potential to change people’s outlook on their current environment and we felt that a healthcare setting, where people sit and wait for periods of time, worried about unknown outcomes would be the right place to start.”
How else will we see VR used to alleviate stressful situations?