Is virtual reality (VR) the new frontier for healthcare?
Imagine putting on a headset and being transported into the shoes of someone living with dementia. Or being prescribed therapy via stepping into a virtual world for those suffering mental illness.
VR is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings through the use of goggles or a headset. Across the world this type of simulation is being studied to gain insight into a range of different health issues.
Here in our own back yard, our innovative and passionate frontline health staff are also leveraging digital technologies to better meet patient needs.
Earlier this month, our Wishlist Board met to assess a record-number of funding applications to the bi-annual Wishlist Grant Funding Rounds. This is how we distribute your generous donations. The call on funds is competitive to say the least and technology is emerging as a strong theme in the applications.
Wishlist has committed to funding $86,000 worth of equipment, inclusive of several sets of VR goggles to help patients with needle phobias, young patients going into surgery, and those with fractures needing to be distracted when sedation isn't possible. Also on our list is a $30,000 project for VR to pave the way for more efficient clinical training as well as implementing the technology in a palliative care setting for patients to tick off their 'bucket list' while bed-bound because of their life-limited illness.
Our world is fast-paced and it's exciting that our health teams are identifying contemporary opportunities to enhance healthcare right here on the Coast.
My Weekly Preview Column - Wishlist A/CEO Brendan Hogan - published in Nov, 2022.