Smileyscope virtual reality goggles arrive at St John of God Geraldton Hospital

The virtual reality goggles take children on underwater adventures to help reduce their pain and distress during short procedures.

St John of God Geraldton Hospital Smileyscope VR

29 April 2019

Smileyscope is an innovative virtual reality experience that provides an engaging form of distraction therapy for children.

Available to children 12 and under patients wear a goggle headset that plays an interactive game on the screen.

Patients hear a navigator taking them on an underwater sea adventure and as they physically move their heads from left to right and up and down they view the different areas of this virtual world.

St John of God Geraldton theatre manager Kristie Hutton says sometimes new technology can be daunting and even frightening.

“In the beginning technology can have bugs or teething problems and this can be frustrating for the user; making the technology increasingly difficult to learn and effectively operate,” Kristie said.

“Then along comes a piece of technology that is fun, exciting, simple to work and beneficial to our patients experience.

“It is in an animated format so nothing is too real and it is very cute with children getting little fish to nibble on their arms or spot the little octopus before he gets scared and inks away.

“This way the distraction is enough so that a minor procedure like intravenous cannulation can take place with minimal discomfort to the child.

“So rest assured the next time your child is visiting us here at St John of God Geraldton Hospital for a procedure that they are going to have a whale of a time!”