When it comes to the medical use of VR and AR, pediatrics is an area of great potential. Kids, no matter how inventive and curious they are, are more likely than adults to be captivated by the immersive qualities of VR. From the comfort of their hospital bed, kids can visit coral reefs or even walk with dinosaurs. They may also feel like returning to their favorite hobbies or watching their favorite pet play.
Compared to just looking at photos or videos, family activities can be recorded at 360° and then viewed through VR and AR, giving young people a real sense of being at the event. Because of these capabilities, virtual reality is a critical tool to not only improve a child’s hospitalization, but also support the healing process.
Scientific evidence shows beyond any doubt that this advanced technology has a number of important benefits in pediatrics. Here are a few illustrations. VR distraction is an established pain management technique that is effective in reducing pain and behavioral problems in children, especially in children undergoing invasive medical procedures (for example, while administering vaccines or drugs and drawing blood). It has been found to help people overcome their fears, making imaging studies like MRIs and CT scans go more smoothly. It may make chemotherapy more tolerable for cancer patients. It can help manage social phobia and reduce anxiety in a variety of therapeutic situations.
Traditional games such as board games, as well as the plethora of apps accessible on smartphones and tablets, can be used to divert children’s attention. They can even help improve the intellect of children. According to a study, wearing virtual reality headgear while playing a video game for pain relief provided greater benefits for certain young people compared to those who played the game without the game.
Chronic diseases are particularly difficult for pediatric patients because they cause prolonged periods of stress for children and their families due to long hospitalizations and treatment cycles. Children can be exposed to the suffering of other patients in a medical setting, which can increase their worries and concerns, including fear of death.
Play therapy is a method of addressing the symptoms of sadness and anxiety in such young people. Children at play is so common that its significance is sometimes neglected. Play not only helps children’s physical well-being, but it also improves their brain processes, stabilizes their emotional state and allows them to communicate and express themselves more freely. These game benefits are available to all young people. Play becomes even more important for sick children as it aids in their recovery and healing. When virtual reality and augmented reality are used for therapeutic play, it creates a greater degree of immersion and distraction. Therapeutic play using virtual reality computer games improved the psychological well-being of children with cancer who were hospitalized, researchers said in one study.
A child’s illness can be a difficult time for parents, as well as for the entire family. Families are psychologically susceptible when a child is hospitalized. Depression and anxiety symptoms can occur as a result of the stress. Parents can experience post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD) in extreme situations, which can greatly affect their ability to care for their children. As a result, alleviating the suffering of parents is an essential goal of health care.
When virtual reality technology helps hospitalized youth, it also helps their parents. Parents will be relieved when their children worry less. Parents can relax in the knowledge that their children won’t have to miss important family events as they create memories together with virtual reality. By taking care of a sick child, parents can miss a lot of work. When virtual reality and augmented reality are used to calm a child’s fears and help them recover, parents have less time to spend with their children. And the quality of the time they do spend together is significantly better.
Finally, virtual reality technology plays an important role in pediatrics. It can help both children and their families go through the unpleasant process of going to the hospital. It can promote emotional and mental well-being while speeding up healing. Because VR and AR successfully erode pain and anxiety through immersive distraction, they can replace analgesics and anesthetics during medical surgery.
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