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Focus on Virtual Reality Benefits to Healthcare in Wales Tech Week

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VR is Good For You …and For Your Doctor is the title of a panel discussion on July 16 at 16:00, one of over 80 virtual events taking place in the first ever Wales Tech Week July 13-17.

VR is Good For You …and For Your Doctor features Rescape Innovation CEO Matt Wordley,  Product Development Director Kevin Moss, and Dr Michelle Smalley, a Clinical Psychologist working in Intensive Care Units in Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles Hospitals in Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, as they discuss the very human benefits VR has brought to frontline NHS teams facing COVID-19, and the potential to roll out this technology and increase the adoption of VR in a range of future medical treatment plans.

The virtual session is one of over 80 webinars, workshops and digital events in the first Wales Tech Week, a unique, interactive digital festival created by Technology Connected, the organisation that champions the Welsh technology industry and promotes its social and economic impact. In its inaugural year, Wales Tech Week has been designed to showcase the breadth, strength and diversity of Wales’ thriving technology industry, shining a light on its people and businesses to a global audience.

Rescape Innovation is a pioneer in the use of VR to support patient recovery and rehabilitation, and in the past few months they’ve been working closely with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University – using virtual reality for the first time to help reduce anxiety and stress amongst NHS staff tackling the pandemic.

Using their DR.VR™, which already has a proven track record in reducing anxiety levels of patients in intensive care units, Rescape has produced really positive results in evaluating VR as a useful aid to support the mental health and wellbeing of frontline medical staff who’ve been putting on the headsets and zoning out – and it’s helped them get through it.

Dr. Smalley said:

“Roles radically changed on March 13, with a dramatic increase in stress and anxiety amongst frontline medical and nursing teams for both themselves and their loved ones. My role pivoted to focus on staff wellbeing and support, and trying to limit burn out, so we worked with Rescape to bring in DR.VR™ headsets to see if it would prove a useful aid in reducing anxiety, and give the medical teams some much needed relief.

“Being a clinical psychologist in unprecedented times has called for unprecedented measures to help support staff. From the moment I tried these headsets out myself, I realised their potential for helping with anxiety and stress, but we have to be evidence based in our approach.”

The DR.VR™ Frontline Relief evaluation is available on the new FutureVision.Health web platform, a portal set up to promote the benefits of immersive technologies in healthcare. The main results from the evaluation suggest that staff found using VR was an enjoyable experience, and they would recommend use to their colleagues to aid relaxation and for reducing stress. In particular, staff valued the meditative spaces and breathing exercises.

Rescape Innovation CEO Matt Wordley said:

“As a Welsh company using pioneering technology to reduce pain and ease anxiety in healthcare, Wales Tech Week gives Rescape a great opportunity to talk about our COVID evaluation with a healthcare professional, and look at the enormous potential for VR for both patients and NHS staff. We’ve already had interest from a number of hospitals across the UK, and future projects will feature VR benefits in maternity, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), informational impact and more as we look to increase the adoption of VR in a range of medical treatment plans.”

Avril Lewis MBE, managing director of Wales Tech Week organiser Technology Connected said:

“Our world is rapidly changing, and now more than ever it’s clear just how important technology is in our daily lives, enabling and enhancing the way we live and work. With Wales Tech Week, our goal is to showcase the incredible talent and innovation that exists within our industry, giving a global platform to the organisations and people that make up our £8.5 billion a year technology sector. A sector that will be fundamental in accelerating the recovery of our national and global economies post COVID-19.”

VR is Good For You …and For Your Doctor – register on: https://technologyconnected.eventbank.com/event/vr-is-good-for-you-and-for-your-doctor-24781/home.html https://technologyconnected.eventbank.com/event/vr-is-good-for-you-and-for-your-doctor-24781/home.html

The evaluation is available on http://futurevision.health/research/