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Virtual reality medical hypnosis is now a thing

by on26 March 2019

You are getting sleepy

HypnoVR has been developing virtual reality-based medical hypnosis solutions to manage pain and stress and has just finished three promising retrospective clinical trials.

The outfit claims that the use of VR for managing pain and anxiety during and after medical procedures had some promising results.

The first study took place over six months at the Hospital Hautepierre in Strasbourg. As part of the trial, HypnoVR was used with selected children, in addition to standard pain management, as support for post-operative pain and to limit opioid consumption following scoliosis surgery.

The 20-minute HypnoVR session took place once a day within the first 72 hours following surgery, while the control group received the standard care.

It was concluded that the group additionally treated with virtual reality hypnosis showed a significantly lower need for supplemental treatment for anxiety and total postoperative opioid consumption, with a 45 per cent reduction of post-operative morphine consumption over 72 hours.

Recovery was also significantly faster during their hospital stay; patients’ bed-time was reduced by 21 hours.

Results were presented in October 2018 at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiology.

In the second clinical trial, patients nine-years-old and over, during dental procedures at the paediatric odontology unit of the University of Strasbourg, were selected and exposed to a VR immersion session featuring a natural environment.

The anxiety level of paediatric patients was evaluated on the APAIS scale (The Amsterdam Preoperative Anxiety and Information Scale), with results showing the level of anxiety decreased by 45 per cent, along with an elevated level of satisfaction, with an average score of eight out of 10 from patients.

Results were presented in March 2018 at the Annual Meeting of the Société Française d'Odontologie Pédiatrique.

The third clinical study focused on alleviating pain and anxiety during ovocyte retrieval, a medically assisted reproduction procedure, at the University Hospital of Strasbourg, where HypnoVR was offered to patients as part of the standard anaesthetic care.

During the medical procedure, 38 patients were exposed to a 20-minute VR immersion featuring a natural landscape and a soothing voice, in addition to the administration of low-level sedatives. Results show that 73.7 per cent of patients felt “disconnected” and 89.4 per cent of patients considered the VR headset provided additional comfort, with a high level of satisfaction (median rating of four on a scale 0 to 5).

Results were published in March 2019 at the Journée Francophone de l'Hypnose 2019.

HypnoVR president and co-founder Nicolas Schaettel was pretty pleased with the results/

“We are excited about further upcoming clinical trials that could show how promising our virtual reality technology is for pain and anxiety management in hospitals or for independent practitioners.”

“We believe that in the future virtual reality hypnosis will become standard complementary care for addressing pain, stress and anxiety in hospitalised patients.”

HypnoVR specialises in developing virtual reality-based medical hypnosis solutions to manage pain and stress. It designs, develops and markets software applications and medical devices as innovative tools of hypnosedation to improve the quality of care and comfort of patients


Last modified on 26 March 2019
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