Innovations: IKONA Health VR and Online Platform

Care Partner of Adult
Updated March 21, 2022 in IBD

Forget video gaming; Virtual Reality has an entirely new function: allowing patients to experience medical procedures they have yet to undergo. I learned more about this prospect when I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Lyfebulb Patient Entrepreneur and IKONA Health Co-founder and CEO, Tim Fitzpatrick.

Simply put, a patient can experience a full surgical procedure by donning a headset that walks them through all the steps in the process, even being accompanied by a nurse and an experienced patient who can talk the patient through the nitty-gritty details. Unlike with a text or video-based approach, the patient learns through an immersive experience, resulting in greater patient confidence and less anxiety.

To date, IKONA focuses on the kidney disease community, but their setup and features are readily adaptable to the needs of the IBD community. Fitzpatrick assures me that someday soon, IKONA Health’s VR options and follow-up online platform will also be available to us.

How willing would YOU be to use this type of VR technology?

1 - 3 of 3 Replies

  • MaraJShappyPatient

    This is so cool, thanks for sharing! I would definitely be interested in giving this a try! I've always been interested in VR technology in the medical space and how it can help alleviate medical PTSD and pain associated with certain procedures. I know they often have VR headsets and games at the infusion centers at children's hospitals to help distract patients, but this idea of immersion in healthcare experiences to gain knowledge is really unique!

    March 22, 2022
  • Jackie_ZExpert

    I love this idea if only for fully understanding the scope of surgery. I know at a high level what has been done in each of my surgeries, but I would like to know more about the how/why of each procedure. I also think this might help patients understand the healing process more. I love this idea so much.

    March 22, 2022
  • Wendy_LExpert
    Care Partner of Adult

    Yeah, I really hope it comes to fruition for IBD. Tim explained to me how, for example, a patient about to undergo a colectomy could virtually walk through the surgery and then the management of an ostomy bag, if necessary. So cool!!!!

    March 22, 2022
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