Technology Helping Ease The Pain

If you’ve ever read our other posts, you’ll notice that if it relates to technology helping with illness, I will include it. I think it’s amazing how some people are really thinking outside of the box to help those who need it the most. In this blog I’m going to show you my favorite aids that are helping people deal with their everyday struggles.

1. My Special Aflac Duck

Aflac is a company that provides financial protection to policyholders that get sick or hurt. They have many slogans and statements about providing the best insurance for customers but what really stands out to me is their Special Aflac Duck.

My Special Aflac Duck - augmented reality to help kids with cancer

This fluffy friend above will be by the patients side during their battle with cancer. The duck is designed to help children as they go through what can be a three year ordeal of chemo and treatment. They can pet and cuddle the duck and it will respond accordingly. It comes with Emoji discs that kids can use to not only activate certain feelings for the duck to act out but use to communicate what they are feeling.

An IV set for the kids to administer to the duck is set to help them take their mind off any fear that comes with their chemo medication as they will feel like they are looking after their new friend. There are a few other cool things that come with the Aflac Duck but I’ll leave that for you to check out yourself.

2. Snow World

The idea of using virtual reality to deal with pain control has stemmed back to the 90’s. One of the earlier immersive VR experiences is Snow World. When burn patients are resting they still need opioids to deal with the pain. So when they are undergoing treatment, it can be excruciating. That’s when Dr. Hunter Hoffman and Dr. David Patterson created Snow World, a simple game that takes place in an icy canyon where users throw snow balls at snowmen and penguins.

Image result for snow world images vr

Clinical trials have shown that when a patient is immersed in Snow World during treatment, they do not need as many pain killers. The VR experience was put to the test with the same patient playing a similar game on a Nintendo, however the studies showed that the VR experience was more effective and allowed the patient to escape their pain as well as reduce anxiety.

3. COOL! VR Pain Relief

Cool! is similar to Snow World, however it doesn’t target a certain patient. Anyone that feels the pain and anxiety of medical procedures are the ones that benefit from the easy to use experience. In this experience the user will make their way through caves, into the mountains as they play with otters that change colour and they can even feed them fish. This experience also has a soundtrack of a running stream to make the brain and body relax.


COOL! VR Pain Relief from Firsthand on Vimeo.

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Simon is a Marketing and Communications specialist. He is the Marketing Coordinator for Virtual Perspective as well as runs his own freelance marketing services under the name Alpenglow Digital.

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