Another study has found that the use of virtual reality headsets can reduce pain or discomfort during medical procedures. The findings indicate that this technology may take place in hospitals and medical offices, which may increase compliance with painful medical procedures that patients may otherwise avoid.
The latest research on this topic is presented at the UAE21 congress of the European Association of Urology. The study comes from researchers in Poland where they evaluated the use of a VR headset that showed patients a beautiful Icelandic landscape while undergoing a painful procedure called rigid cystoscopy.
A total of 103 patients participated in the study; they were organized to undergo the experiment only with intraurethral anesthesia. Participants were divided into two groups: those who underwent the procedure as usual and those who underwent them while wearing headphones and virtual reality headsets.
The researchers used a variety of data to determine the levels of pain associated with the procedure, including self-reported experiences, patient observations during the experiment, and metrics such as blood pressure and heart rate. Using this data, the researchers found that using the VR experience reduced discomfort compared to those who did not receive the technology.
One of the researchers behind the study, Dr. Wojciech Krajewski, said:
Patients reported less pain, and this was also reflected in our observations of their experience. VR is certainly an option to reduce pain on cystoscopies and we are studying whether it will have the same effect on other medical interventions, such as lithotripsy, to break kidney stones or prostate biopsy.