In collaboration with Samsung Australia and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Sydney-based virtual reality startup Start VR has developed a virtual reality technology that aims to alleviate stress and anxiety that diagnosed cancer patients feel through their treatment.

A cinematic virtual reality studio, Start VR creates immersive experiences and interactive content, renowned for their high-quality visuals. Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a cancer center in Australia that provides oncology treatment services to more than 40,000 patients every year.

The Samsung Gear VR headsets— with the option of relaxing experiences, adventurous experiences, or stimulating experiences, from the Gear VR store or Start VR’s catalogue— is available for patients at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

According to Lifehouse’s Complementary Therapy director Michael Marthick, treatment can take up to two to 10 hours in a day and in these stressful times, the technology enables patients to transport themselves into another world, which is “hugely beneficial for patients,” to escape the realities of their diagnosis. Marthick states,

This gives them a distraction and allows them to keep their spirits up. Wellness isn’t just about the physical side of things, it’s also about mental wellbeing.

Termed as “distraction therapy,” the technology opens up significant potential for the industry.

Spearheaded by Martin Taylor, Start VR’s Head of Content, the goal of the project was to create content that has a positive impact on users. Martin adds,

We wanted to determine if VR had the potential to change people’s outlook on their current environment. Exploring the application of VR in healthcare, highlights an exciting pathway for this burgeoning medium and we are proud to leverage what we are learning to continually push boundaries in VR content creation.

Head of Alliances and Enterprise Mobility, Samsung Electronics Australia, Martin Brown believes that the collaboration is innovative in the way it uses immersive features in a virtual reality platform, applied to a healthcare environment.

Head of Alliances and Enterprise Mobility, Samsung Electronics Australia, Martin Brown believes that the collaboration is innovative in the way it uses immersive features in a virtual reality platform, applied to a healthcare environment. Brown concludes,

We see collaborations with partners like Start VR, and organizations like the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, as critically important to developing tangible ways for our technology to benefit organizations across a wide range of sectors.

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