KCBS_740 OAKLAND (KCBS) — There’s a lot of cutting edge technology in hospitals these days, but virtual reality headset being tested out at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland are bringing smiles to the faces of medicine’s bravest patients.

The idea is to take kids somewhere else than their hospital beds.

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You’re lying in your hospital room and you want to be anywhere but there. Simon Robertson, founder of Kind VR can take you there.

“They’re playing an interactive game, so it’s not just a video – it’s a real time, interactive experience, where they are throwing rainbow balls at fish, and bringing color back to the ocean,” Robertson told KCBS.

Right now, kids being treated for sickle cell disease are donning the headsets. Dr Anne Marsh is sickle cell director.

“If I say, ‘look up,’ they’re looking up at the top of the ocean. Or, if they look down, they see the bottom, and see sunken treasures. And they see fish coming at them, and swimming by them, and they’re hearing the sounds of the ocean. And, they’re just completely immersed and distracted by this experience, so that for 15-minutes, or 20-minutes they can not think about pain,” Dr. Marsh said.

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Eric Nathaniel is grateful for the technology. His 14-year-old daughter Briana is one of the testers.

“It’s difficult to watch your child go through something that you cannot fix – it’s outside of your control,” Nathaniel said.

She says the VR kicks pain in the butt. Dr. Marsh says this could be used for kids undergoing other procedures.

“Children with cancer who are here in the hospital, who have to frequently get poked to get blood draws, or get chemotherapy medicines. How can we make this less scary for them, or less painful for them? So, that’s actually one of the future studies that we’re designing and rolling out here in the near future, is how can we improve the experience not just for those with sickle-cell disease, but other diagnoses as well, including cancer,” Dr. Marsh said.

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