General, Research, Technology

Virtual reality is offered to be used as anesthesia for children

No matter how old a person is,medical procedures can be quite intimidating for various reasons. Even if pain medication is offered to patients, the fear of pain has not been canceled. But Lenovo, together with the Starlight Research Fund, conducted a pilot test of virtual reality headsets as an alternative to painkillers for children, distracting patients from what is really happening around them.

VR can be used not only for games

How virtual reality can help relieve pain

Starlight Foundation Pilot Project Held inUS hospitals over the past year, and he showed that doctors found virtual reality a very useful tool in a series of manipulations. For example, medical professionals have successfully performed even a number of invasive procedures, such as endoscopy combined with local anesthesia (although general anesthesia had to be used before). Other manipulations at the same time do not require in combination with VR anesthesia at all.

The human brain has a limited "bandwidthability "for what he can pay attention to," explains Joe Albeytz, director of Colorado’s Children's Hospital, MD, MD, and one Starlight project participant. The more I can draw you into a virtual experience, the less your brain will be able to perceive the pain signals that enter it. And if he does not pay attention to them, then they do not cause discomfort.

The technology is currently onthe initial stage and for it there are no special tools and applications. That is, in fact, you can independently assemble yourself such a set. The pilot program uses Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headsets from Lenovo and the usual games and applications available to them. And how do you feel about such a non-standard application of VR-technologies? Tell us about it in our chat in Telegram.

Children participating in the project easily toleratedprocedures for collecting cerebrospinal fluid, ligation of damaged limbs, enjoying entertainment, and not focusing on medical equipment or injuries. This has a profound effect on the quality of life of patients, ”says Dr. Albeyc. We see that children who previously needed general anesthesia can now partially refuse it.

Carrying out a medical procedure using VR

Moreover, similar manipulations, according toprofessionals, the use of virtual reality is not limited. VR can be used for simple surgical procedures and rehabilitation of sick children in order to return them to normal life.

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It is also worth considering that the pilot program does notimplied the use of special equipment and applications. And the development of better headsets and medical VR applications will be able to further enhance the immersion effect and, accordingly, improve the beneficial effect on patients. Of course, there is no question of a complete replacement of anesthetics. But use VR as an alternative to lower the pain threshold? Why not! Ultimately, new technologies should not only entertain, but also help people in other areas of life.