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VR research a reality at Runnymede

A Runnymede patient explores a new virtual reality research project spearheaded by the hospital in partnership with University Health Network’s OpenLab.

Virtual reality (VR) is coming to patients at Runnymede Healthcare Centre. In the months ahead the hospital will be partnering with OpenLab, a design and innovation centre at the University Health Network to embark on its first ever research project, using immersive VR.

OpenLab’s pilot project, VRx, explores and evaluates the potential benefits of using VR with various patient populations. The VRx prototype is a series of short, immersive 360 degree films designed to provide a calming experience for participating patients. Exposing patients to VR could elicit buried memories that have been previously forgotten, and may also offer a virtual vehicle that can move patients beyond the walls of the hospital or confines of a bed.

At Runnymede, the activation and communications departments will be collaborating with OpenLab to use the immersive VR technology with patients at the hospital and then evaluate any benefits that are observed. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to participate in this leading edge research project at Runnymede,” says Julie Hiroz, Director, Communications at Runnymede. “Implementing new patient-centred initiatives that help enhance the patient experience is a key priority for everyone at the hospital, and we are hopeful that this new research partnership with OpenLab will have a variety of benefits for our patients.”

As Runnymede moves forward with its first research project, it is cementing its position as a healthcare leader and demonstrating an ongoing commitment to its patients by leveraging new technologies that will heighten their experience at the hospital and raise the bar on the quality of care. “Participating in the VRx project with OpenLab is a turning point for Runnymede, and we can’t wait to see what the use of VR could mean for our patients,” says Hiroz.

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