Top 10 Lessons Learned Using Virtual Reality in Hospitalized Patients

Co7vAvxWAAAc2saIf you’ve ever been hospitalized or visited someone in the hospital, then you know that patients can experience anxiety, uncertainty and boredom exacerbated by a radical change in living environment and loss of customary rights and privileges. Sitting in a hospital room for days or weeks, often in pain and distress, can be physically demanding, emotionally draining, and socially isolating. In many ways, the hospital room can be more like a bio-psycho-social jail cell than an uplifting healing environment.

Our digital health research team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has been trying to address this problem by using virtual reality (VR). Recent advances in VR technology offer a compelling opportunity to address inpatient distress. VR devices provide immersive, realistic, three-dimensional experiences that “transport” patients away from the four walls of their hospital room and into novel, positive, and emotionally enriching environments. We believe that VR has potential to alleviate negative aspects of hospitalization by providing multi-sensory information and allowing patients to “escape” to pleasant locations and realities.

Over the past year our team has studied over 150 diverse patients using a range of VR visualizations. We published our initial experiences in a peer-reviewed study and are now initiating the largest controlled trial to date of VR, testing its impact on pain management, narcotic usage, length of stay, and satisfaction with care among hospitalized patients.

By Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS | My Gi Health


About Peter Coffaro 1104 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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