Sheba Medical Center in Israel has teamed up with XRHealth to create the first fully VR based hospital. With the use of XRHealth’s technology, there are elements of VR in every department of the medical center.

A huge element to the Sheba Medical Center’s VR strategy lies in their CAREN system. CAREN stands for Computer Assisted Rehabilitation ENvironment. It uses a motion platform that the patient stands on that can be manipulated to reflect different environments. For example, a rocky path or the soft sand of a beach. This motion platform is teamed with a large 3D monitor, a graphics workstation and a real-time motion capture system. All of these elements help bring the experience to life for the patient. Technology like this can be used to help with a whole range of conditions including:

  • Motor disturbances
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Behavioral phobias
  • Paraplegics and quadriplegics fit with orthotics
  • Amputees fit with prosthetics

In Sheba Medical Center’s press statement, Chief Medical and Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Eyal Zimlichman remarked that ‘we’ve identified medical virtualization as one of the technologies that will transform healthcare. Within this realm, we aim to be a leader in developing new health services based on VR’. Dr Zimlichman may indeed be on to something as this isn’t the first-time immersive tech has been used in healthcare and it certainly won’t be the last. At Laduma, we have had some fantastic projects within the healthcare industry, we brought new medicine to life in our CaVRn and filmed a heart surgery in 360º to show the benefits of Edwards LifeSciences’ Sapien 3 heart valve.

But what does this mean for the industry as a whole? There is already a vast amount of VR technology weaved into healthcare all over the world. There is a Children’s Hospital in Colorado where patients use VR instead of general anesthetic and pain relief. There are hospitals in the UK and USA like this one in Cardiff, Wales using VR headsets to manage pain for mothers in labor. There is even a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts where cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy use virtual reality as an alternative pain management system. The healthcare industry is truly a global hotbed for innovation which is what makes it a fantastic partner for immersive technology as the possibilities are truly endless.