MONTREAL, March 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — After four years of research, the Shriners Hospitals for Children® – Canada has integrated virtual reality (VR) to its care processes. The use of this interactive technology allows children to escape to another world while undergoing medical procedures thereby reducing any anxiety or pain they may experience. See video: https://youtu.be/axaVNiY-ns0 or https://vimeo.com/804357216
In 2019, the nursing research team launched a qualitative study on the use of virtual reality in hospital settings. The results showed that 84% of patients who used VR reported having a positive medical experience. Caregivers also expressed their approval. Parents aware of their children’s apprehension regarding a medical procedure have been very grateful for access to VR. Overall, children who benefitted from the technology reported either minimal or no pain or anxiety.
“Paperplane Therapeutics is enriching the patient experience with its innovative technology. As a government, we must support projects like the one announced today that improve the quality of life of our population and the care they receive,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development, and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region.
“Thanks to the financial support of Québec’s government, our partnership with Paperplane Therapeutics was successful. Our hospital is now equipped with four headsets used by trained clinicians. This project has already benefitted some one hundred patients undergoing procedures such as inserting IVs, blood collection, Botox injections, cast removals, removal of bone wires and sutures and pre- and post-op bandage changing,” explained Argerie Tsimicalis, RN, Ph.D. and principal investigator.
The hospital chose Paperplane Therapeutics for its expertise in developing cognitive behavioural therapies using VR. “The DREAM solution implemented at the Shriners Hospital is clinically validated and improves pain and anxiety management in patients. The solution was tailored to integrate seamlessly within clinical environments, and can be used alone or alongside drug therapies,” said Jean-Simon Fortin, Co-Founder and CEO of Paperplane Therapeutics.
“Training is currently underway for our nurses in various departments including the plaster room, day centre, pre-op clinic and care units. We’re proud to be among the first to offer this immersive technology to a growing number of patients,” shared Kelly Thorstad, Director of Nursing and Patient Services.
With sustained efforts and a commitment to providing its patients with medical care free of unnecessary pain and stress, the hospital should be in a position to offer VR to approximately 3,500 patients in 2024 and up to 17,500 patients over the next five years.
About Paperplane Therapeutics
Paperplane Therapeutics offers cognitive-behavioral therapies in virtual reality that are purpose-built and clinically validated to improve pain and anxiety management for patients receiving medical care. We offer solutions tailored to meet the highest therapeutic standards and integrate seamlessly into clinical environments. They can be used as a standalone modality or as an adjunct to standard pharmacological therapies making them game changers in the field of pain and anxiety management in clinical settings.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada
Established in Montreal in 1925, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada is the only Canadian establishment within the network of Shriners hospitals. This bilingual, short-term, acute care hospital provides ultra-specialized orthopaedic care to children from coast to coast in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. The mission of the hospital is to promote health and provide treatment and rehabilitation to infants, children and young adults with orthopaedic and neuromuscular problems such as scoliosis, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease), clubfeet, hip dysplasia, leg length discrepancies and cerebral palsy.
The hospital is committed to excellence and innovation in clinical practice, research and education. Affiliated with McGill University, the hospital provides clinical experience and teaching for residents and allied professionals within its outstanding new facility on the Glen site. The hospital is present in communities across Canada, thanks to telemedicine, outreach clinics and satellite clinics.
Laure Moureaux, Communications Advisor, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada,
Tel : 514-282-7222 ; Cell : 514-207-2267, [email protected]