A virtual reality app eases children’s anxiety before surgery

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals has launched a virtual tour to give young patients an interactive experience of wards before they have surgery.

The “Little Journey App” includes a virtual reality doctor, nurse and anaesthetist, and gives a tour of the children’s day ward, anaesthetics room and recovery room.

The free app, available at Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital, aims to ease anxiety for young patients before they have surgery or require a test under a general anaesthetic, from the comfort of their own homes.

Animated characters, including Dr Jay, explain what happens when patients require a general anaesthetic and introduce the equipment used.

The app can also be used in 3D using a virtual reality headset and has videos tailored to children aged between three and 12. Children and their families will be introduced to the app at a pre-assessment clinic.

This interactive app will hopefully ease the anxiety for patients as they prepare at home for their hospital admission. The virtual tour helps patients to familiarise themselves with the hospital and the handy checklists help them to prepare before they come into hospital.

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