Innovation with Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality helping enhance patient care

The ICU team at SCGH has achieved remarkable strides in patient care, exploring innovative approaches to enhance the well-being of patients.

Recognising the heightened risk of post intensive care syndrome, Senior ICU Physiotherapists Natalie Tran, Amanda Ziatas, and Wendy Jacob alongside ICU Specialists, Dr Matthew Anstey and Dr Bradly Wibrow have embarked on a groundbreaking project.

Treating post-ICU syndrome, a collection of distressing symptoms, involves medications and therapy, but the team sought a novel solution— the use of virtual reality (VR).

With the help of a Discovery Grant from the Foundation, the team were able to provide 20 patients with the opportunity to use VR, tailored to their interests. From meditation in nature to active sporting events, resulting in overwhelmingly positive emotional well-being.

We wanted to give out patients a psychological break from the chaos of the ICU. They have been through so many traumatic procedures. To provide moments of normality in a very abnormal environment is so important.” Ms Ziatas.

In almost 100% of cases, the team observed improved mood and reductions in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. Family members reported a sense of calm in their loved ones after just a few minutes with the VR headsets. The use of VR provides patients with crucial moments of normality and respite.