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Anxiety and Pain are Being Alleviated with VR in Hospitals

Spanish hospitals are able to reduce the pain and anxiety of patients with the help of virtual reality (VR). Patients admitted at Quirónsalud-managed hospitals Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Rey Juan Carlos (Móstoles), Villalba General Hospital and Infanta Elena (Valdemoro), are benefitting from the use of virtual reality. The immersive technology form is being used to reduce persistent visits to the hospitals for ailments that require continual medical attention.

A patient is able to bypass reality while at the hospital where they receive medical checks, tests and treatments. Virtual reality is helping patients with pediatric or hematologic ailments get better relief from anxiety and pain.

Patients who are affected by onco hematological diseases experience mood improvements during the treatment sessions at the Dialysis Unit or Day Hospital. This is achieved by creating a sensation of calmness and diversion. For children, the use of VR technology acts to reduce anxiety and pain, while generating relaxation during treatments or invasive procedures. Family members also become more relaxed.

Patients of different ages and with different preferences are able to access a variety of options. As an instance, the technology enables a patient to travel to a new country, go on an African expedition, experience relaxing environments, or go on a space trip. Patients can avail the VR experiences by requesting the glasses from designated nursing staff at Day, Dialysis, Pediatric Services – Urgencies, Day Hospital and extractions, or during diagnostic test phases.

Healthcare is being humanised with the introduction of this technology, as it facilitates a range of benefits for patients. Patients are more relaxed during their treatments and invasive processes, perceive time in a different manner and feel lesser pain. Medical professionals also gain better satisfaction by knowing that their patients are improving.

The four hospitals are utilising the VR technology for Palliative Care unit patients. The ‘ViVo: Viajar, Volar’ initiative is being incorporated by psychologist and team doctors.

Dr Maria Herrera, the head of Palliative Care Service, Jiménez Díaz Foundation, spoke regarding the development. She explained that palliative patients are quite delicate and the VR techniques being used offers greater distraction needed to reduce the physical, emotional and painful process. Patients can experience greater relaxation and inner calmness, which translates to lesser anxiolytic medication usage. VR is making a considerable impact on helping patients get past their health difficulties.

The specialist talked about a similar application of the VR project, explaining that the initiative focuses on helping patients achieve a relaxed state through the visualisation of spaces and people. This in turn helps to shift the focus of palliative patients during clinical procedures performed by the medical professionals.

He further shared his observations regarding the VR technology being used on patients, stating that they are able to relax completely. Therapists initiate the process, guide the patients, and point them towards a range of pleasurable feelings enabled through the use of virtual reality glasses. Patients may also use perform certain activities while reacting to visuals, despite not having to make physical movements.

Customised VR experiences are created for the patients.

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