'Virtual reality has added value in care'

Written by: Maxima Medisch Centrum

Virtual Reality when training CPR actions. Virtual Reality as an opportunity to look around at home during a long-term hospital stay. Virtual reality when dealing with phobias and fears. Both for treatment methods and training, the possibilities seem endless. In the Brainport region, these applications are being developed and designed at a rapid pace. Virtual Reality has added value in care, according to the audience of the well-attended meeting Virtual Healthcare.

Máxima Medical Centre, Eindhoven University of Technology, GGzE and Slimmer Leven co-operative organised an evening on Virtual Healthcare as part of the Dutch Design Week 2017. The audience could also experience virtual reality (VR) themselves. Vrtigo shows that VR can help to address fear of heights and that neurofeedback makes the treatment more effective. Mind Mansion shows how VR, biofeedback and gamification helps people deal with their fears. Relaxationspace VR investigates ways to convert physical relaxation locations at GGzE to VR. 360° Camera uses existing resources in a smart way to help overcome fears such as blood punctures. VR Fontys demonstrates how VR can be used as a learning tool in, among other things, a resuscitation training. Aware4Youth helps young adults who have experienced crime, psychiatry or addiction to reconnect with society, experimenting with virtual reality and 360° video.

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VisitU / Infor-med shows how they bring patients into contact with their loved ones, when and where they want, using the latest technology. Based on the vision of Virtual Reality for all patients, physician-researcher Stefan van Rooijen and surgeon Gerrit Slooter, both associated with Máxima Medical Centre, want to improve the well-being and recovery of patients with VR-care innovations. Patients' needs and wishes are central to this.

Wijnand IJsselstein, Professor of Human Technology Interaction at the TU/e, argued that there are particularly many possibilities in the application of VR. The audience was enthusiastic about the organisation of the meeting, the content of the presentations and the range of VR experiences. However, there are questions about possible side effects such as dizziness, fears are being feared for the disappearance of personal contact and it is not yet clear what the deployment of VR will cost. The call for greater cooperation in the development of VR and the exchange of information via a platform to be set up was certainly welcomed by all those present.