2020 could see Welsh VR prescribed on the NHS for patient rehabilitation
Patients in Wales could soon see virtual reality become an everyday part of their medical treatment plans, due to “ground-breaking” research and development by Welsh technology company Rescape Innovation.
Cardiff-based Rescape Innovation is pioneering the use of virtual reality (VR) to support patient recovery and rehabilitation. The company’s technology is used to solve a range of challenges found in healthcare including reducing pain and anxiety, managing stress and improving overall patient experiences.
With an intensive care bed costing the NHS an average of £2,000 per night, Rescape Innovation believes new technology could bring huge cost savings to Wales’ health service alongside improved health and wellbeing for patients.
Developed in collaboration with Welsh patients and healthcare professionals, the company has two flagship products: ‘DR.VR’ and the recently launched paediatric DR.VR Junior.
VR distraction therapy works by tricking the brain into thinking it is present in another reality. The result is that the brain is overwhelmed with information leading to a reduction in pain and anxiety.
The technology has been proven to reduce pain and anxiety by allowing patients an escape to a variety of immersive experiences, from snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef and climbing Machu Picchu to exploring Times Square and relaxing on a beach.
Following the success of DR.VR, Rescape is working to develop new applications for its technology. As well as exploring how VR could help patients in intensive care units, palliative care and dementia wards, the firm is trialling how VR and distraction technology could support women in labour, helping them to relax, stay calm and ‘escape’ the confides of a maternity ward via a headset.
Matt Wordley, CEO at Rescape Innovation, said: “When it comes to healthcare, the applications of VR are still somewhat under used and under explored, but we are determined to change this. Virtual reality offers huge potential to transform the health and wellbeing of patients as well as the ability to help reduce anxiety in patients, their families and medical staff.
“VR has been proven for many years to be effective in treating anxiety and pain and we’ve seen first-hand just how effective it can be helping people in many different environments and across a range of conditions. This has inspired us to develop and add to the applications of VR in the health sector, helping it reach its full potential.”
For more information on Rescape, visit: https://www.rescape.me/