Monthly Archives: February 2016



“The potential for using virtual reality in healthcare education is enormous, especially in teaching the humanistic skills of compassion and empathy, but to date the prohibitive cost has limited its application,” said Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust Director of Education, Dr Matt Halkes in a statement.

“However, the introduction of cardboard headsets combined with smartphones now makes it an affordable and scalable option, and has enabled us to realise our ambition of bringing virtual reality into the classroom. This opens up an entirely new field of educational delivery and it is enormously exciting to be at the forefront of its development.”

By Peter Graham at VR Focus

Image: PatientVR

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Virtual Reality Helps Soldiers Cope With War Injuries


“For a soldier who has endured an amputation, severe phantom limb pain can be debilitating.

Virtual reality company MindMaze has designed a medical virtual reality, augmented reality, and motion capture video game system that immerses the amputee in a virtual environment, where moving the existing arm will move the non-existing arm of the avatar.

Neuroscientist and MindMaze founder and CEO Tej Tadi says this “mirroring” tricks the brain into believing the severed limb is actually there, and has proven benefits in phantom pain management.”

by John Gaudiosi at Fortune

Image: MindMaze

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Virtual reality study examines GP response when patients demand antibiotics


“Both trainee and senior GPs prescribed antibiotics without clinical need when faced with a virtual reality (VR) scenario where patients angrily demanded them, finds new UCL research.

The study highlights how VR could be of significant use in the education and training of GPs and other professionals who encounter ethical dilemmas.

Lead author Dr Sylvie Delacroix (UCL Laws) said: “The first time doctors will encounter such a choice is when they are faced with it. No amount of textbook learning or advice from seniors can substitute for experience. We wanted to see how VR could be used to help understand how GPs respond to this dilemma, as well as whether there might be a difference in response between more senior doctors and recent trainees.”

Image and text by University College London

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Virtual reality therapy can lower stress levels of hospital patients (incl. video)


“An innovative study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center aims to ease the stress of staying in the hospital.

Doctors at Cedars-Sinai are studying the effects of virtual reality on hospital patients whose real world surroundings can be sterile, uncomfortable, and sometimes frightening.

Patients are carried away to different worlds. Many say it’s helping relieve stress and anxiety.”


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Virtual therapy ‘helps with depression’, researchers say (incl. video)


“A new therapy which involves a patient embodying themselves in a virtual reality avatar of a crying child could help with depression, research has suggested.

Patients wear a headset that projects a life-sized image, firstly of an adult and then of a child.

The project is part of a continuing study at University College London.”

By Dominic Howell at BBC News

Image: University College London

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Teachers-in-training learn through virtual reality


“The [University of Mississippi] School of Education is using a program that allows teachers-in-training to practice classroom skills in a virtual setting before sending them into local elementary and secondary schools.

The simulated TeachLivE classroom consists of an 80-inch monitor with five student avatars. Each avatar has his or her own personality.”

By Madeleine Beck at The DM Online

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Can virtual reality neurofeedback help stroke survivors recover?


“A better treatment [for motor impairments following stroke] might lie inside a virtual reality headset, according to USC researcher Sook-Lei Liew, who was just awarded a $150,000 Innovative Research Grant from the American Heart Association to explore the possibility of using the immersive world of virtual reality to create a brain-computer interface for the treatment of stroke survivors.

To give stroke survivors the necessary visual feedback, Liew developed REINVENT — “Rehabilitation Environment Using the Integration of Neuromuscular-based Virtual Enhancements for Neural Training” — which uses virtual reality as well as brain and muscle sensors to show hand movement in the virtual world when the patient has used the correct brain and muscle signals even if the patient cannot move his or her hand in the real world.”

By John Hobbs at USC News

Photo/Courtesy of Sook-Lei Liew

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