United States, Massachusetts, Cambridge – 04-29-2019 (PRDistribution.com) — In any children’s hospital, just follow the screaming to find the phlebotomy unit. Needles are traumatic for children. They are the most feared part of a child’s healthcare experience and they are a major problem for the medical system. If is child is distressed during a needle procedure, it can make it impossible to get vital medical information, or administer critical medicines. It’s estimated this contributes to $1.5 billion in wasted healthcare spending in the U.S. each year. Poorly managed childhood procedures can have lifelong consequences, including anxiety, health care avoidance, vaccine avoidance and complications from delaying healthcare access. Now, a ground-breaking study in the emerging field of ‘digital therapeutics’ offers a solution: Virtual Reality (VR) carefully designed to match the medical procedure. A randomized controlled trial of 252 children (aged 4-11 years) getting blood tests and intravenous cannulation, found using VR can decrease pain by up to 60% and decrease distress by up to 75%. VR was effective in both the emergency department and outpatient phlebotomy. This is the largest and most rigorous trial ever done using VR for a medical procedure. Published in the prestigious The Journal of Pediatrics, this article represents a turning point. ‘Software as a drug’ is now meeting the standards of peer-reviewed, data-driven clinical science.
Smileyscope, the global leader in digital therapeutics was developed by two physicians who wanted to improve their own medical procedures. Smileyscope’s underwater VR adventure is timed perfectly with medical procedures. When pediatricians are cleaning the needle site, patient sees waves lapping at their arms. That needle prick? It is just a fish nibbling at their arm. Adele Ormbsy’s 8 year-old son Brodie has a chronic medical condition and requires frequent medical procedures. In anticipation of a recent needle procedure she reported that “Brodie was anxious, crying and extremely worried about the needle.” Doctors were so concerned that they had booked a general anaesthetic for Brodie, but this was avoided when Smileyscope VR was used. “It took his mind off the procedure and calmed him completely,” she said. “The whole encounter changes for the patient, the family, and the staff- suddenly it can be part of a game and not another medical intervention,” affirms Dr Jose Prince, the System Chief of Acute Care Surgery and Pediatric Surgery at Northwell Health, New York. “This trial shows that Smileyscope’s VR is the new standard of care for paediatric needle management, and sets the bar for future advancements in the digital therapeutics space,” explains Dr. Evelyn Chan, a pediatrician and the CEO of Smileyscope. Smileyscope’s award-winning VR experience is use in over a dozen hospitals in Australia, and being implemented at Kaiser Permanente, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and Northwell Health. Smileyscope’s clinical-trial validated technology is at the vanguard of an entirely new and novel way to provide healthcare. Using software as a medication can be far less invasive, far more effective and far more affordable than traditional health care options.
About Smileyscope Smileyscope is an award-winning healthcare technology company, founded by medical doctors, who saw the need to improve medical interventions for patients. It was recently awarded as a Pediatric Impact Health winner at South By Southwest (Austin, Texas, USA) and gold at the University of California at San Francisco Stanford Pediatric Accelerator Shark Tank (San Francisco, California, USA). It is jointly headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and has been generously supported by the Australian Government through an Accelerating Commercialisation grant awarded in 2018.
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