The functionalities of Virtual Reality (VR) are unlimited. It can be applied in so many instances, especially in the medical world. A procedure for which VR is particularly useful and beneficial is dialysis. This is a long procedure used as a treatment for people with kidney problems and it needs to be repeated quite frequently. To start the dialysis a thicker needle has to be attached to one's arm. This can be quite a scary and sometimes painful procedure for some. That's where VR comes in. 

VR helps create new and easier ways for the patient to go through dialysis. A patient could wear a VR headset before getting the injection and follow a relaxation exercise or watch a nature scene as a distraction for example. The focus will be shifted from the actual procedure to what they are experiencing in the VR environment. This will lessons the anxiety and distract them from the pain. 

However, VR applications can also take a step further when it comes to dialysis applications. VR can provide the patient with information about the procedure. It has been proven that VR can help with improving the storage and recall of medical information. It creates this heightened form of focus on what is being said as the patient fully emerges in it. Such patient education helps them get acquainted with what is about to happen, which again lessons the fear of the unknown. Such patient education also less the infection rates. SyncVR Medical applications that discuss just this are called 'Dialysis Orientation' and 'Weltenmacher Orientation' and they can be found in the app store. 

Lastly it is also great for the medical personnel to learn how to administer dialysis to patients. It gives them the opportunity to safely practice the procedure without harming any patients. Mistakes can be corrected and perfected until a trainee is set to do the real work. SyncVR Medical has even created an application called 'HD Self Injection' that teaches patients how to do the dialysis injection themselves. This can be extremely helpful for hemodialysis procedures done at home. All this goes to show that the options are very extensive and very useful.

28 / Apr / 2021

Cancer patients often live with comorbidities including chronic pain, depression, or other associated chronic conditions. The management of chronic pain remains a challenging and complex process involving pharmacologic, physical, occupational, and psychological factors. Typically, pharmaceutical interventions such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs, as well as opioids, are used to enhance comfort in cancer-related chronic pain. But this increases the chances of drug addiction and risks exposure to the side-effects associated with using opioids.

Virtual Reality has recently emerged as a novel way for pain management. The purpose of VR technology is to provide users with sense of presence within a simulated environment — they feel like they are there. Cognitive distraction is a common strategy for controlling pain and relies on competing cognitive resources, ie attention, to reduce the perception of pain. Immersive VR interventions are being used as powerful distractors that require visual, audio, cognitive, and emotional engagement from the user.

Another approach valued by some patients is mindfulness meditation for chronic pain management. Mindfulness meditation is a psychological technique that requires intentional and non-judgmental awareness of pain and conscious relaxation to support its acceptance and help reduce its impact. Combining mindfulness meditation within a VR intervention may help support acceptance and adherence to the practice while having a positive effect on pain reduction through immersive VR distraction.

In that context, we at SyncVR have designed the SyncVR-Relax & Distract - an application where patients and healthcare staff can experience a wide variety of VR scenarios to reduce pain, anxiety and stress. The VR library contains relaxation exercises, cognitive stimulating games and videos. It is easy to implement and the application comes with a tablet on which you can spectate what a patient is seeing in the VR headset.

26 / Apr / 2021

Alleviating patients' suffering and pain remains an important challenge in medicine. Different non-pharmacological techniques are currently being used as complementary tools in the treatment of acute and chronic pain, including cognitive-behavioral therapies, biofeedback, acceptance-based approaches, hypnosis, and virtual reality (VR). A new technique that combines hypnosis and VR, called “virtual reality hypnosis” (VRH), is increasingly being used where resources are limited, or there are considerable distractions to patients with an already compromised cognitive capacity.

VR technology offers new opportunities for clinical research and intervention by creating a human testing and training multi-sensory 3D dynamic environment . VR can be interesting in addition to pharmacotherapy and analgesia in anxiety and pain reduction, as an adjunct therapy for the management of acute pain in adults and children and allows patients to alter the patient's attention, emotions, and concentration.

Together with HypnoVR we are exploring this new and promising area for pain management. HypnoVR specializes in developing virtual reality-based medical hypnosis solutions to manage pain and stress. It designs, develops and markets software applications and medical devices as innovative tools of hypnosedation to improve the quality of care and comfort of patients. HypnoVR solutions fit perfectly into multimodal accelerated rehabilitation procedures and help improve care.

22 / Apr / 2021

Over the course of recent times, dental education has progressed tremendously. Advanced teaching and learning methods have been developed and refined. This has led to improved precision of skills involving dexterity and hand coordination. This is particularly important in areas such as dentistry. Virtual Reality is a great tool for not just understanding the patients' perspective but also plays a part of continuous education of dental professionals.

1. Virtual Reality helps to deal with patient's anxiety, fear and pain during dental visits

Visiting a dentist can be a daunting experience due to the anxiety and pain associated with it. VR will immerse the patients into other worlds. They can view scenes that will help them feel relaxed and calm during a procedure Patients will be less anxious and fidgety, which will allow you to treat them more efficiently.

2. Less Dependence on Nitrous Oxide

Dentists who have used VR report little or no use of nitrous oxide to relax their patients. They've experienced benefits such as lower expenses, administering fewer drugs to patients, showing patients that they're innovative, and demonstrating that they care about the opioid drug epidemic and are part of the solution.

3. VR will make you stand out as a welcoming office.

VR reflects concern for patient welfare, allows you to treat patients who become more relaxed and calmer, reduces patient anxiety and stress, reduces procedural time and gives the doctor more flexibility. Patients will talk about these practices and recommend their dentists to their friends and families. This will place these dental practices at the top.

29 / Mar / 2021

For seniors, the benefits of virtual reality go beyond just entertainment. A research from from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Age Lab found older adults who used a VR system were more likely to feel positive about their health and emotions, less likely to be depressed, and less likely to feel socially isolated compared with those viewing similar content on TV. VR applications, if properly deployed & maintained can help participants see faraway places, surround themselves with animals or nature - and, in some cases, even “stand” in familiar 360-degree settings such as a childhood street or schoolyard.

As people age, their brain activity tends to slow. In order to keep the brain active and responsive, it needs to be stimulated daily which can be achieved by introducing unique experiences using VR. The experiences range from walking through a jungle path to sitting in on a jazz concert at a speakeasy. It allows them to not only exercise their brain, but “travel” across the world and relive memories within the walls of a retirement or nursing home.

VR can be a great tool to promote socializing amongst elderly. One way to promote socialization by incorporating group virtual reality in nursing homes. Several people can put on different VR headsets and travel across the world or participate in events together. It makes it easier to socialize because participants don't have to directly see the person they're interacting with, but at the same time still bond over a shared experience - similar to talking to someone online without seeing their face.

Caregivers can also reap the benefits of using VR. It is an incredibly useful staff training tool, particularly if you're working with people who are living with dementia, because there are VR programs designed to help understand what it feels like to live with dementia. It is also beneficial to track and analyze the therapeutic outcomes for the elderly.

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