Midland: St John of God Hospital hails virtual reality goggles

Arini Burnette 7 with Jenny Levy. Picture: Matthew Poon
Arini Burnette 7 with Jenny Levy. Picture: Matthew Poon

VIRTUAL reality goggles could ease children’s anxiety when undergoing blood tests and other procedures at St John of God Health Care hospitals.

The goggles take children on an underwater adventure while they undergo short procedures such as blood tests.

Information services director Jenny Levy said the latest technology, piloted at the Midland hospital in September for children aged three to 13, was tailoring health care to meet the needs of the next generation.

“This virtual reality pilot program is a first in WA and highlights how we are continuing to transform our hospitals by incorporating technology to enhance the patient experience,” she said.

“Having seen the anxiety needle-based procedures induced in my daughter when she was a child and she still experiences as an adult, I could immediately see the value for patients.

“Children and teenagers are surrounded by technology in their everyday lives.

“Technologies such as these virtual reality goggles go towards helping them feel more comfortable in our hospitals.”

WA hospital executive director John Fogarty said the goggles were a great example of how technology could enhance the patient experience.

It could also help to reduce the time clinicians needed to complete certain procedures, he said.

“This may have a flow on effect to all of our patients who can be seen and treated without delay.”

Ms Levy said initial feedback from the pilot at St John of God Midland public and private hospitals’ emergency department, children’s ward and pathology collection centre was encouraging.

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