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French hospitals using VR tech to help surgery patients relax

06/07/2021

French hospitals using VR tech to help surgery patients relax

Hospitals in France are using virtual reality (VR) glasses to help patients relax and reduce their stress and pain during operations.


Rouen and Strasbourg hospitals have both embraced the VR technology, which was launched last year by French start-up HypnoVR.


The glasses can be worn by patients before, during and after surgery, helping them relax more, which can result in local anaesthesia being used instead of general during their procedure. The glasses can also help patients better manage post-surgery pain. They are said to be particularly effective for chemotherapy patients.


Patients can choose from a range of virtual scenes, including a tropical beach, walking in the woods and even a journey into space. A calming voice accompanies the visuals and there are breathing exercises and a choice of music, too.


While patients still have to receive anaesthesia, the amount required is often less while wearing the VR glasses.


HypnoVR president Denis Graff, a medical anaesthetist and hypnotherapist, said: “We are trying to fight against the over-consumption of drugs, and we are trying to treat pain with a non-medicinal method in order to reduce the consumption of potentially dangerous drugs that can have severe side-effects.”


*Image by Florian Pircher from Pixabay

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