To reduce their pain and anxiety, thousands of young patients will soon use virtual reality during their care at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal.

Installed in their hospital room, children will be able to play an immersive game during their care using a virtual reality headset and a controller. The technology allows patients to be transported to a 3D world where they have to catch red balloons and diamonds around them.

“The different medical processes made the children very anxious. We were looking for a solution to solve the problem, ”explains to La Presse the researcher and professor of nursing at McGill University, Argerie Tsimicalis. “When the child uses virtual reality, he is like in another world. He doesn’t scream or move,” she said.

So far, around 100 children have tested the technology. The hospital estimates that it will be able to offer virtual reality to approximately 3,500 patients in 2024 and up to 17,500 patients over the next five years. The establishment currently has four virtual reality headsets.

Virtual reality can be used to relieve patients, particularly during intravenous insertions, blood sampling, removal of casts or sutures and dressing changes.

Virtual reality is offered to patients 5 years and older.

The team also wants to bring this technology to the operating room. “We would like patients to have access to virtual reality before surgery to reduce their anxiety about the procedure and after surgery to manage postoperative pain,” adds Ms. Addab.

A total of 84% of patients using virtual reality had a positive medical experience, according to a study by the hospital’s nursing team in 2019. Children all reported minimal levels of pain or no pain. pain and anxiety.

Paperplane Therapeutics’ technology was also used during the COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the CISSS de Laval, the CIUSSS Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île de Montréal, the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île Island of Montreal and at the Olympic Stadium.