University of Southern California physicians recently performed a randomized clinical trial and discovered that Virtual reality (VR) interventions administered five minutes before and during an intravenous catheter procedure lessen pain and anxiety in children. Unfortunately, most VR hardware is designed for games and social interaction, therefore, it takes time to master and set up the equipment. This is where Eden comes in.

Eden is a South African company whose mission is to make immersive technology easy and intuitive, allowing people to benefit instantly from VR and AR (augmented reality).

Derek White the CEO and Head of Product Development at Eden says “At Eden we’re on a mission to make hospital visits and hospital stays for kids, not only a whole lot less scary and stressful but we want to make them fun. We are producing a series of animated short stories in VR. These are amazing kid-friendly explanations around really difficult topics like What is cancer? What’s an MRI? Getting chemotherapy and a whole bunch of others.”

He adds that delivering these VR experiences in hospitals is a really difficult problem to solve using current off-the-shelf hardware. So they decided to design, engineer and produce their own custom hardware solution for these environments. It has taken them over two years of development but they are currently being manufactured and will be shipped soon.

They set out to make a fantastic user journey and in order to achieve that they wrote a complete end-to-end software platform to make sure that their systems are reliable, easy to deploy and easy to maintain. They also made sure that they are easy enough for absolutely anyone to use in a hospital environment without any training whatsoever. They simply pick up the device and play.

Their first major franchise is called Get Well Pals. It’s an animated VR series that’s aimed at kids between 7 and 15. It is set in a place called Wellness Island and it features colourful, furry, memorable characters who explain topics around general medicine, surgery and oncology. Get Well Pals is their starting series.

They intend to grow the series to include episodes around, Hepatology, Renal, Neurology and anything that their customers need to be explained. A positive outcome for the patient is the ultimate success. Eden’s contribution is to make that journey easier and better not just for the children but also for the parents, the caregivers and even the healthcare professionals.

At Eden, they really believe that if their stories can significantly reduce fear and anxiety in everyone involved in the healthcare facilities to them that is what success would look like.