A virtual reality headset called a “Smileyscope” is helping young patients at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami stay calm during medical procedures. This innovative technology offers an immersive experience that distracts patients from their fears and discomfort.
When Carolina Muinos visited the emergency room for vomiting and dehydration, she needed an IV for fluids. The Smileyscope was used to distract her from the needle poke, taking her into another world and calming her fears. The headset fully immerses patients in a scene, such as an underwater exploration, while a clinician syncs the procedure to narration.
Diana Gomez, the Clinical Practice Specialist for the Emergency Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, explains that the Smileyscope can be used for various procedures like IV insertion, mediport access, meditation, and breathing exercises. The goal is to reduce stress and anxiety for young patients.
The Smileyscopes have been successful in achieving this goal. David Seo, the Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Information Officer at Nicklaus Children’s Health System, states that the use of these virtual reality headsets has led to a decrease in sedation requirements. Families and children calm down immediately when exposed to this technology.
Carolina and her family found the Smileyscope to be very helpful in making a scary situation more bearable. Carolina’s mother recommends it to all parents as a distraction and introduction to procedures. The hospital began using the Smileyscopes in March and they have been widely used in Australia.
It’s worth noting that Nicklaus Children’s Hospital does not charge any additional fees for the use of the Smileyscope device. It is a helpful tool that aims to improve the overall experience for young patients undergoing medical procedures.