After decades of using wall-mounted TVs, hospitalized patients have recently started using virtual reality to “transport” themselves into more relaxing settings. Hot on the heels of last week’s Oculus-VRHealth initiative to manage pain for chemotherapy patients and mothers in labor, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, SOTI, and Lenovo have teamed up to provide a VR solution for hospitalized kids.
Working together, Lenovo and SOTI created the first enterprise device management system for the Mirage Solo, Google’s standalone Daydream VR device, enabling a fleet of headsets to be deployed by the Starlight Children’s Foundation. They’ll include an app called Starlight Xperience to provide entertainment and educational VR experiences geared towards distracting children during their hospitalization, capable of showing kids locations all around the world.
The scope of this particular initiative is pretty broad: Starlight has over 800 pediatric partners, and believes that Starlight Xperience “will become the go-to AR/VR solution for pediatric care providers.” For its part, SOTI will be able to roll out Mirage Solos in other settings as well, adding to the smart glasses, smart watches, and various Linux devices it can already manage.
In addition to its potential therapeutic applications, virtual reality has become an increasingly useful tool for training doctors. Among other things, VR headsets give surgeons the opportunity to practice ahead of real-life emergencies with high-risk patients.
Because they can be used without cabled connections to computers, standalone headsets such as the Oculus Go, Lenovo Mirage Solo, and upcoming Oculus Quest are expected to become increasingly popular, eventually dominating sales of smartphone-dependent VR accessories. Standalone VR headsets currently range from $200 to $600 in price, depending on the manufacturer.