Thursday, 19th September 2019

Virtual reality transforming the lives of terminally ill patients

A Hospice in Leicester is using virtual reality to help patients experience life again as they battle terminal illnesses.

LOROS Hospice, in Groby Road, has commissioned and produced a special film to give terminally ill patients whose lives have become restricted due to their illness, the chance to see the world from the comfort of their chair or bed.
By simply wearing the virtual reality glasses, patients are ‘virtually transported’ to a completely different location, one that patients recognise and are then able to reminisce with friends and families.
John Lee, 70, who has Motor Neurone Disease (MND), was the first patient at LOROS to try out the glasses.
“You soon relax, it’s just like you’re there, I loved it” he said, as he experienced ‘walking through’ Leicester’s Bradgate Park.
“I nearly waved at somebody, as they walked past.”
As John turned his head, the camera followed, making him feel like he was actually at Bradgate Park with a 360 degree view and activity all around him.
“Since being diagnosed with MND, we can get out but I can’t spend a lot of time out of the wheelchair, so being able to have these experiences through the glasses is really good,” added John.
“It’s almost as good as the real thing.”
With patient’s wellbeing in mind, the films are an important therapeutic tool, relaxing those that watch as they are ‘taken away’ to a familiar environment.
LOROS CEO John Knight said: “This is a really exciting project for us, and I believe we are the first Hospice in the country to have specifically commissioned such a film as a therapeutic tool using a familiar local setting.
“Research suggests that the brain accepts the virtual world within 20 seconds after which the experience becomes all absorbing.
“We recognise that some of our patients are often restricted to where they can go due to their illness, so we wanted to help give them the opportunity to still enjoy life wider than their restrictions allow, through virtual reality.
“To see the response from one of our patients, John, was quite overwhelming. You could really see how much it meant to him to be able to experience walking through Bradgate Park, something he never thought he would be able to ever experience again after being diagnosed.”
LOROS has been working with a specialist Virtual Reality production company since last year, and are planning to commission a number of further films, to create a library of valuable experiences for patients to access and enjoy.
The virtual reality project was funded by the generosity of the TS Shipman Trust.
“As the project progresses, we really hope that other patients, not just those at LOROS, reap the benefits of our virtual reality films too as they get to share such magical experiences,” John added.
LOROS is now looking at enhancing patient’s experiences both regionally and nationally, by commissioning a portfolio of ‘experience’ films, like walking on a beach for example, that other Hospices and care providers will be able to access.
Cloud-based infrastructure (33%) and cyber security (33%) are the joint highest-rated digital skills...
Index identifies seven practice areas critical to becoming a leader in work management – a key compo...
Despite growing demand, less than a third (32%) of UK workers are allowed to work remotely whenever...
New partner programme equips partners to deliver sector specific solutions based on its Intelligent...
Speakers include Capita, Google, IWFM, Microsoft, Schneider Electric, WeWork and Wireless Infrastruc...
Despite rising optimism, 86 percent of organizations prevented from pursuing new digital services or...
Almost half (44 percent) of UK organisations are worried they could miss out on the benefits of tech...
Wipro has expanded its strategic partnership with Google Cloud to accelerate cloud adoption and digi...