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If I had a dollar for every time I didn’t act on a business idea that came to fruition by someone else. I’d probably be writing this article from my private island in Fiji. 

By now, you’ve read my bio and know that my passion with VR includes its possibilities to benefit the medical industry. I remember a conversation with my editor where I said “Wouldn’t it be great to bring VR to patients who are stuck in hospitals for long stays? Or help bring joy to cancer patients?”  Well, MediBank beat me to it!  

MediBank, Australia’s largest health insurance provider, has teamed up with VR company Liminal, to launch “Joy,”  a VR program that is designed to help patients with long-term hospital stays feel less lonely and isolated through immersing them in different environments.  Using Google Daydream,  Joy brings a patient to nature scenes, storytelling around a campfire, and even interaction with a friendly dog!  This is priceless for someone who’s been stuck in bed, surrounded by white walls, flooded with the constant beeping noises from heart monitors and hourly blood pressure checks, and stuck with a TV that is almost always awkwardly placed.     

And what better time to alleviate patient loneliness than the holidays? Research has shown that loneliness peaks during the holidays.  Thankfully, Joy will be available this month at partner hospitals across Australia including  Brunswick Private, Macquarie University Hospital, and Mater Health Services. 

Be sure to follow our Facebook page on January 5-7 to watch live updates from the virtual reality and gaming section of CES.