NHS looks to pilot virtual reality initiative to spot diabetes-related issues

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Health Education England had piloted a virtual reality (VR) system across various NHS sites, in partnership with Oxford Medical Simulation, to help doctors train for medical emergencies among people with type-1 diabetes.

As reported by Diabetes.co.uk, the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit has revealed that one in 25 people with type-1 diabetes develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in hospital due to undertreatment with insulin.

The VR system would help in the reduction of diabetes-related complications when people with the condition are hospitalised.

The system includes a headset, which enables the user to see virtual reality scenarios, and also allows them to recognise potentially life-threatening diabetes-related complications.

The system has had input from patients, which has been combined with clinical expertise from the NHS.

In February, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) launched a virtual reality tool that is aimed towards highlighting the impact of its fundraising on the hospital. Put together by creative agency Rewind, the tool offers a VR tour which offers users the chance to explore the hospital’s facilities and wards. Chapel, play and sensory rooms are also included in the services, which have all benefitted from the funding.

Another healthcare provider that has been looking at VR technology in recent weeks is Welsh startup Rescape Innovation. Developing VR technology for health, Rescape has secured almost GBP 500,000 in investment, aimed towards helping the company ‘invest in new technology, export and develop new products to support patient recovery and rehabilitation.’ Rescape aims to reduce the strain on pharmaceutical industry and National Health Service by offering an alternative to painkillers via ‘distraction therapy’. The company’s products, which also aim to relieve symptoms anxiety, are being used in over 30 healthcare institutions across the UK, with a further 30 orders already placed.

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