Diversionary Therapy Technology- a game that helps Australian burns sufferers

By: Heleen
On: January 6, 2007
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image of the therapyIn this project children with serious burns get diverted during the treatment of their injuries. This project has won the Australian national award for collaboration.

From their website:

“ACID is working with the Royal Children’s Hospital Brisbane to develop augmented reality devices for use by kids with serious burns while they undergo painful treatment of their injuries. The devices use colourful 3D adventures to divert the child’s attention from the treatment.

Each year thousands of children suffer serious burns. Treatment can be an excruciating and drawn-out process for both the child and the parents. Adequate pain management is difficult and relies heavily on drug intervention, often requiring complete sedation.

Other forms of pain management include cognitive behavioural techniques, the presence of a familiar comfort figure, music therapy, or engaging the patient in conversation. An alternative and complementary approach is diversionary therapy.

ACID, in partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital Brisbane, has developed Diversionary Therapy Technology devices to reduce anxiety and distress in young burns patients.

The devices engage the child in a colourful, 3D augmented reality experience. The young patients are immersed in the world, and use the devices to direct characters through a series of interactive scenarios.

For 2-8 year olds, the device is a hand-held ‘digital storyboard’ tablet which can be operated by the child or the carer. Older patients use the tablet or 3D goggles.”

First-round clinical trials of the AR diversionary devices showed they help patients relax during treatment, lowering pulse and repiration rates and reducing overall pain scores by up to fifty per cent.

ACID is continuing development of the diversionary therapy technology devices.”

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