Start VR spearheaded a collaboration with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Samsung Australia to bring virtual reality experiences to patients undergoing chemotherapy. The aim was to use VR as “distraction therapy”, a means of easing the psychological and physical distress often associated with undergoing chemotherapy. More broadly, the Lifehouse VR Treatment Trial had, as its object, to explore the application of VR in a healthcare setting.
Prior to chemotherapy or when seated in surgical waiting rooms, patients were given a Samsung Gear VR headset holding experiences from the Gear VR store, as well as experiences created by Start VR. In VR, patients could be pulled into wildly varied experiences, from travelling to relaxing destinations around Australia, or jumping from a plane and skydiving through the atmosphere, to snorkelling through tropical waters or petting koalas at a zoo.
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse noticed patients who were placed in VR, during what would otherwise be stressful or anxious experiences, were able to keep their spirits up. The immersive nature of VR provided an effective distraction for patients from the reality of chemotherapy or the surgical waiting room.
STUDIO: Start VR