When Dr. Linda Ciavarelli tried out her 13-year-old son’s new Quest headset for the first time, she saw the future.
Specifically, the podiatry specialist in Wilmington, Delaware saw a new way to make health information accessible — an idea that is now a functioning Horizon Worlds space called HouseCall VR.
The healthcare industry has been using virtual reality technology for years in different capacities, even before it was somewhat common for people to have a VR headset at home. ChristianaCare, a major healthcare system in Delaware, started using VR for distraction therapy with cancer patients, many of whom reported a less stressful experience with chemotherapy when it was administered because they felt transported to a calming place.
VR is also used in healthcare training, including immersive simulations for non-healthcare workers learning how to properly administer Narcan to someone overdosing on opioids, and as a stress reducer for healthcare workers dealing with high COVID-19 caseloads and other traumas.