Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Use of VR for Oncology Patients

13-year-old Emanuel found virtual reality to be a welcome distraction during a recent procedure at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (Image via CHW Blog)

13-year-old Emanuel found virtual reality to be a welcome distraction during a recent procedure at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (Image via CHW Blog)

All around Emanuel Monge was bright blue water and rainbow-colored fish. Smiling sea lions passed by, as gray whales soared overhead. Dancing dolphins bobbed above an array of artifacts from a shipwreck long ago.

The 13-year-old glided through the ocean, taking in the sights and sounds surrounding him. He flung balls at fish, discovering that the contact zapped them into neon colors. He learned if he launched enough balls, he’d get an ancient column to topple over to the ocean floor.

11-year-old Toben, a patient at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, tried out virtual reality earlier this year (Image via CHW Blog)

11-year-old Toben, a patient at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, tried out virtual reality earlier this year (Image via CHW Blog)

After a few more minutes of looking around and playing, his boat suddenly came into view. The next thing he knew he was back to where he had been: the MACC Fund Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Emanuel’s underwater adventure had been a virtual reality experience offered to him as a way to ease his anxiety during a transfusion.  (Read the Full Article on the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Blog)

Upworthy.com Story about KindVR at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Dr. Hoag has been letting her patients try VR informally, and is getting ready to conduct a clinical study on its benefits. Image via Northwestern Mutual.

Dr. Hoag has been letting her patients try VR informally, and is getting ready to conduct a clinical study on its benefits. Image via Northwestern Mutual.

Jenny Hoag, a pediatric psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, tells the story of one patient, Jamie*, whose experience demonstrates just how distressing regular procedures can be for kids with cancer and other chronic diseases:

"I had worked with him since the beginning of his treatment, and he really, really struggled," she says. "He would get here and immediately feel nauseous and anxious and would almost always vomit, sometimes more than once, before we even did anything."

Image to via Northwestern Mutual.

Image to via Northwestern Mutual.

Hoag's job is to come up with ways to help kids conquer that discomfort and anxiety. But in Jamie's case, he wasn't interested.

Jamie rejected Hoag’s coping mechanisms, but once she suggested virtual reality, his curiosity won out.

Hoag brought in a virtual reality program that makes the wearer feel as though they're underwater, being pushed along calmly while viewing colorful fish, ships, and other distracting scenes. (Read the full story on Upworthy.com)

MedicalExpo Article on Sickle Cell Pain Research @ UCSF Oakland

Courtesy of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Courtesy of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

A pilot study in San Francisco has shown that virtual reality (VR) can help children and teens escape from the pain of sickle cell disease, and future studies are planned to ease discomfort for youths being treated for cancer.

The idea came from video game developer Simon Robertson, who also happened to be a volunteer at the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

Video: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland published a video highlighting their pioneering work researching the use of virtual reality to help sickle cell patients manage their pain. Briana Nathaniel, a participant in the research study shares how VR plays a role in her hospital experience. Primary Investigator of the study Dr. Anne Marsh and Simon Robertson of KindVR discuss the potential of VR to help patients. 

San Francisco Chronicle features KindVR & UCSF

We're proud to be mentioned on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper today. The story details our research study at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland evaluating the use of virtual reality to help patients with sickle cell disease manage their pain crisis. 

Photo: Michael Noble Jr., The Chronicle

Photo: Michael Noble Jr., The Chronicle

"Briana Nathaniel, 14, lies listless in her hospital bed, exhausted from days of nearly unbearable pain. Her voice is small, barely a whisper, and even lifting her hand seems to take enormous effort.

Half an hour later, she’s transformed. A virtual reality visor covers half her face, but it can’t hide her grin. She’s sitting up, her hands waving around as she calls out, “Hi, dolphin! Hi, whale!” "  (Read more

Photo: Michael Noble Jr., The Chronicle

Photo: Michael Noble Jr., The Chronicle

It’s amazing. You walk into the room, and they’re like a different kid for these 30 minutes.
— Dr. Anne Marsh