Technology continues to play a major role in communications between patients and physicians, with the potential to further educate consumers on the ways in which they can be treated.
Boston Children’s Hospital and Klick Health have collaborated to launch HealthVoyager: positioned as a new medical education, treatment, and patient experience platform that utilizes VR–and shows patients their individual medical findings in a 3D environment. The first iteration of the tool, HealthVoyager™ GI, has been designed for pediatric gastrointestinal (GI) patients and is currently being utilized at Boston Children’s as part of a clinical study.
According to a recent report, “HealthVoyager™ GI will enable Boston Children’s gastroenterologists to custom-configure life-like, 3D anatomical imagery, and take pediatric patients with conditions including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis on iPhone-based virtual tours of the GI tract.” The tool will allow children to develop a better understanding surrounding their respective medical procedures.
“Putting myself in a nine-year-old’s shoes, I can see HealthVoyager™ being a more fun and valuable way to learn about and share complicated information like endoscopic findings,” said Michael Docktor, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist who co-developed the tool and serves as Clinical Director of Innovation at Boston Children’s Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator. “We hypothesize that the more children and their families can visualize and understand their disease, the more likely they may be to communicate when they have a particular symptom and adhere to their therapies.”
In the past, gastroenterologists have shared endoscopy and colonoscopy findings with patients and their families through documentation that becomes part of a patient’s medical record. These clinical documents are highly text-based, written in medical jargon, and designed for medical documentation rather than patient understanding.
HealthVoyager™ has three components: the healthcare provider (HCP) frontend application, the patient mobile application, and an intermediary web service that ties the two together.
The platform meets requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and is will be accessible from within hospitals’ electronic medical record (EMR) systems to protect the privacy and security of patient health information, and ensure clinical adoption and sustainability.
“Hospitals have started using VR in healthcare, most notably, to distract hospital patients as part of pain management. That’s important, but it’s only scratching the surface of what’s possible in patient care, “ said Yan Fossat, VP of Klick Labs at Klick Health and lead on the project. Fossat added that the healthcare industry is on the frontier of developing a host of new opportunities through VR; customizable patient education experiences like HealthVoyager™ have the potential to directly impact the course of a patient’s treatment in a positive way.
For more information on HealthVoyager™ GI, and view a video of the platform in use, visit www.voyager.health