Telus funding pilot program using VR to decrease anxiety, use of prescribed medication

The project will take place at Quebec-based Alma Hospital

Alma Hospital is testing a new virtual reality (VR) anxiety-management project that aims to improve patient well-being.

The pilot will see participants engage in “peaceful scenes and guided breathing exercises” using immersive VR headsets. The goal is to improve medical treatments and decrease the use of prescribed anxiety medication.

The Quebec hospital has partnered with Paperplane Therapeutics to make it happen. Telus is providing financial support.

The need to address mental-health consultation is urgent, Jean Lamoureux, executive director of the Fondation de l’Hôtel-Dieu d’Alma, said. Consultation requests increased upwards of 40 percent during the pandemic; inflation and labour shortages are also increasing stress levels.

“Our foundation is working hard to be at the forefront of mental healthcare and, thanks to the innovation of Paperplane Therapeutics and Telus, we will transform the way health services are delivered, while having a significant positive impact on patient wellbeing through the use of technology.”

The hospital will also trial the technology in other departments as well, including oncology.

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Source: Telus