Modern medicine works miracles. Diseases that used to kill thousands and thousands of people every year have all but disappeared from the planet. Other diseases that used to be a certain death sentence now can be cured, or at least their progress can be slowed. Cancer is one good example of the amazing progress that we’ve made just in a single lifetime. Yet cancer treatment for many is no walk in the park. Patients must endure lengthy treatment regimens that often include toxic chemotherapy that can be uncomfortable and even painful.
How could wearable technology have an impact in cases such as these? A partnership between Samsung and a cancer treatment center in Australia was brought about through the efforts of a virtual reality content developer in Sydney. Patients receiving chemo were given the opportunity to try VR systems with their choice of different content. The experiences ranged from skydiving to snorkeling, or sight-seeing tours of different areas. The patients were happy with the results. They were transported away from the clinical setting for a while, where they could relax and explore another environment. The immersive sight and sound experience gave them a break from the treatment room.
VR applications such as this could have a positive impact on the quality of life for a variety of patients undergoing treatment or simply coping with chronic conditions. As the range of VR content grows, and participants are given more freedom to navigate and perhaps interact with others, this could become an important tool for helping patients maintain a positive attitude and avoid some of the boredom or fear that can often occur in such situations.