Mercyhealth transforms hospital procedures for children with VR headsets

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Mercyhealth looks to transform the hospital experience for young patients with Starlight Virtual Reality headsets.

Courtesy: Mercyhealth

The headsets are meant to help decrease anxiety and pain for children during medical procedures.

They also provide dynamic content geared toward entertainment and distraction such as virtual snowball fights, immersive field trips to global locations, meditation, video games and more features.

Patients can also play games that help with development, education and rehabilitation. Leaders say the headsets help pediatric patients by transporting them out of the hospital into a virtual world.

“Hospital stays can be stressful and scary for kids,” says Dr. Mary Baldauf, a Pediatric Critical Care Intensivist at Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside. “Using this technology to distract these patients with fully immersive, fun and relaxing sensory environments can have a significant impact on the level of anxiety and pain that they experience before, during and after procedures, dressing changes and other medical treatments.”

The Starlight Children’s Foundation donated two headset units to Mercyhealth as part of its virtual reality program, which provides resources for more than 800 children’s hospitals and other pediatric facilities.