Virtual Reality (VR) is growing rapidly worldwide and consequently also within healthcare. In recent years, we have already gained experience with VR by the GRAIL walking simulator. Now we are gathering new insights by applying VR to pain relief after surgery.
After surgery, most patients suffer from pain and for some patients it takes some time for the medication to work optimally. To cover the lead time, we use VR glasses. VR immediately distracts patients from the pain. Before using the VR glasses, a nurse gives a brief explanation and helps the patient to set up and operate the VR glasses. The patient is able to choose a virtual experience, for example visiting a metropolis, swimming with dolphins or playing a game.
Patients and pain therapists are enthusiastic and satisfied with the results of the first trial. The next step within this project is to investigate how we can use VR even more widely in pain management. Another goal is whether people who deal with fear of treatment, can benefit from the VR applications.