We’re all human beings, but we’re not all alike.


Each person experiences pain differently, from an emotional perspective as well as a physical one, and responds to pain differently. That means that physicians need to evaluate patients on an individual basis and find the best way to treat their pain.

Today, however, doctors are under pressure to limit costs and prescribe treatments based on standardized guidelines. A major gap looms between the patient’s experience of pain and the limited “one size fits all” treatment that doctors may offer.
Doctors are often less interested in the patients narrative and more interested in the lab results.  

"What we think, how we feel, what we believe, how stressed we are and what’s happening to our body, are all interconnected. We’ve documented with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that you can change pain systems biologically by what you do with your mind." -  Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, director of the Pediatric Pain Program at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA in California.  

At Wavelength VR we understand that chronic pain not only indicates illness, it is itself an illness. By turning every pang of pain into a chance to focus on the mind-body connection we are striving to not only manage - but cure persistent pain. Stay tuned! 

Find out more: https://theconversation.com/why-its-so-hard-for-doctors-to-understand-your-pain-93526

Kids drive VR demand as parents try to moderate health risks


We live in a time of the most accelerated technological change, unlike anything we’ve seen before, with new marvels materializing every day. Today, one of those marvels is virtual reality (VR). Though nascent, VR has the potential to become a major force in entertainment, education, and health care. 

What’s unique about VR is the intensity of the experiences it mediates. Research by Common Sense and Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab — has found that VR is one of the most intense mediums we’ve encountered. 

Their research represents an early step in their efforts to understand its potential impact on children's cognitive, social, and physical well-being, as well as its potential to shape young people’s perspectives.   

On the plus side, there's the potential for positive influential interactions with VR characters that encourage empathy and generate enthusiasm for learning. The report also notes that VR can assist kids with pain management and inspire fun, imaginative play.

On the other hand, it’s still unclear what impact VR might have on “still-developing brains and health,” a topic that has remained under debate with non-VR games for decades. Unsurprisingly, researchers are recommending moderation and parental supervision as the solution, particularly for kids under 7.

As virtual reality becomes part of everyday life, Bailenson recommends that people take precautions.  5- to 10-minute increments are recommended for young kids and 20 minutes for older children and young adults.

We at Wavelength continue to follow the guidelines and stay up to date with the insights and research on this subject. Safety is our first priority. All of our content is reviewed by clinicians as well as independent organizations that help parents make smart choices about media and technology for their children.

Find out more: https://news.stanford.edu/2018/04/04/emerging-research-shows-potential-power-vr-kids/

VR reduces patient fears

Children with hemophilia commonly receive intravenous infusion of clotting factor as their sole treatment, and it requires patients to be infused with the medication, using a needle. Patients need to undergo this treatment starting from their first diagnosis throughout the rest of their lives.

VR adoption at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio began with one very common issue: kids are often afraid of needles. In the Nationwide Children’s  hemophilia clinic this can be a significant barrier to a positive care experience.

Parents are not immune to feelings of dread leading up to clinic visits, either. It can be devastating for a parent to know that his child has a phobia of the very treatment necessary to maintain that child’s health. This level of anxiety on parents’ ends further aggravates the negative feelings their children are already feeling.


Nurses also feel the impacts of needle phobia. These clinicians are on the frontlines of nearly all patient encounters, and can get worn down by constantly delivering a terrifying procedure to children.

But when the care team can distract the patient – in this case, by using VR – it allows them to take the care encounter back into their hands and drive a better experience.

Incorporating VR into the patient encounter ‘takes them out of what is normally a stressful situation and puts them into a fun world.’ The VR used in the clinic incorporates novel features that involve everyone in the room as an active participant in the VR experience. Instead of being a solo experience, the VR becomes a group activity, helping to bring parents and nurses into the child’s world.

‘This type of VR – the type that puts patients in a new, more enjoyable experience – is the future of VR in healthcare. While there are numerous purposes for VR being floated, including using it for data visualization and surgical planning, using VR to place patients in an enjoyable reality is leading the way.’


At Wavelength we are excited to see the adoption of VR technology and to finally witness a new era where the mind-body connection is regarded as a vital component in the treatment of patients.  Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. VR is proving it can change your emotional state which, in turn, will help change your physical state. The trick will be figuring out what works best.

Stay tuned…

Link: https://patientengagementhit.com/news/vr-in-healthcare-reduces-patient-fears-ups-care-experience


After discovering Sensiks through a link my sister sent me, I immediately reached out to Luke Leven, the companies UK Director.

While a typical VR rig only deals with the senses of sight and sound, Sensiks has created a SR pod, which harnesses our full suite of senses. In the pod, audio-visual experiences are synchronised with scents, temperature, airflow, vibrations, taste and light frequencies.


This was something I had to see. Could sitting in a pod make things more realistic and increase VR’s power of teleportation?

I explained to Luke I was creating an experience for pain management. He informed me that Sensiks was focusing on the areas of cognitive therapy which look into PTSD, autism, mediation and mindfulness.

Later that week I was off to the Dutch Embassy in London to test out their system. Luke explained that Sensiks also has their own platform that maps the sensory experiences in the pod to VR experiences uploaded by users.  

The pod (or VR cabinet) was the size of a small walk in shower with a glass door and a built-in bench. Luke placed the VR headset on my head and chose several experiences for me to try from the digital display on the cabinet wall.

From smelling a campfire burning in the woods, to feeling the tropical heat of a rainforest, to feeling the breeze from the ocean whilst sitting on a beach – this was indeed a deeper level of immersion than I had ever felt before.

Whilst I was sitting on the beach in my last experience, I could feel heat which mimicked the sun, I could feel airflow which mimicked the breeze off the ocean. I could look at the sea cliffs behind me or stare out at the ocean in front of me – all that was missing was a bucket of sand to plunge my hand into and it would have been completely real!

We look forward to exploring the synergy between Wavelength VR and Sensiks…

To find out more: www.sensiks.com


Is Virtual Reality the road to empathy?

Virtual Reality’s possibilities extend well beyond the familiar gaming and sales applications. Now it’s becoming the ultimate empathy machine…

A new application called “Making it Accessible” demonstrates how a child with physical, hearing, or autism disabilities can feel.

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Developed by Edge-MT, a VR/AR production company from Israel, the application aims to shape positive attitudes toward children, youth and adults with disabilities.

Virtual reality is the “best way to elicit empathy and solidarity” said Liron Zuckerman, Co-Founder of Edge-MT. Therefore, the company decided to “highlight the limitations that children and youth with disabilities face,” through a VR application.

The app creates simulations of situations that occur in a park, as they would be experienced by youth with disabilities, such as physical disability, visual and hearing impairment, or autism spectrum disability.

“Virtual reality connects humans to other humans in a profound way I’ve never before seen in any other form of media, and it can change people’s perception of each other,” Chris Milk says in a TED Talk. “That is why I think virtual reality has the potential to actually change the world.”


Miranda McCarthy, CEO and Founder at Wavelength VR says:

“Growing up as a disabled child with disfigured legs, and an uneven gait, I was constantly stared at. Adults and children alike would look me up and down and I remember the feeling of anxiety it gave me. It’s human nature to find fascination in something we see as out of the ordinary but if you could spend a day in my shoes you’d think twice about staring at anyone!

Perception is relative to perspective. VR can change your perspective and when you’re able to walk in someone else’s shoes, your perception will change too.”

Link: https://haptic.al/virtual-reality-empathy-application-7a26e1c1f5d0


VR: A Sight For Sore Eyes

Ever since personal computing debuted on world’s stage, we’ve heard a lot of ‘studies’ that preached the negative narrative, focusing on health concerns of personal computing on children eyesight. Now some evidence suggests that Virtual Reality might be able to actually improve your eyesight…


Pre -teen subjects reported that their vision was unchanged or even improved though an experiment. Conducted by the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Future Visual Entertainment and the Beijing Institute of Technology the experiment explored the impact of long -time VR HMD use on pre -teen users' vision.

They concluded that the considerable amount of simulated distance vision scenes used in VR HMD’s (head mounted display) contributed to a more positive influence on eyesight.

Vivid Vision is a medical technology company applying virtual reality to the field of vision care. Its founder and CEO, James Blaha, a programmer and lifelong sufferer of lazy eye, started the company after experimenting on himself. Before building the first prototype, Blaha couldn’t read with his weak eye or see in 3D.

Since then, the vision in Blaha’s weak eye has improved to nearly 20/20. His experiments gathered worldwide attention, and Vivid Vision launched its clinical vision therapy suite in late 2015 for optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Since then, the 90 clinics using it have treated more than 6,000 patients. On average, treatment lasts eight months, with patients coming one or two times a week to use the VR system.


What Wavelength VR’s thinks about it:

Luckily none of us went blind from sitting “too” close to the TV. This myth prevails because back in the 1960s General Electric sold some new-fangled colour TV sets that emitted excessive amounts of radiation—as much as 100,000 times more than federal health officials considered safe. GE quickly recalled and repaired the faulty TVs, but the stigma lingers to this day.

Any new technology has fear of the unknown attached to it but until significant data has been gathered no one can say for sure if prolonged exposure to VR is harmful to our eyesight. ‘Everything in moderation’ right? As the chinese study suggest , err on the side of caution, and take a 20 minute break every hour.

Link: https://vrworld.com/2017/07/19/study-vr-improve-eyesight/

Revolutionising Healthcare with VR

From pacemakers to Fitbits, digital technology plays a vital role in keeping people healthy. Innovative companies are going beyond devices and gadgets by applying VR to expand the capabilities of the medical field.

The same technology used by game developers is being deployed to improve surgical training, more accurately diagnose disease and offer patients new avenues to pain relief…


Training in safer environment

With new VR simulations surgeons now have a safe environment in which to gain familiarity with tools, learn new skills and experience surgical procedures — without putting patients at risk.


Improving images and diagnoses

Digital data from MRI and CT scans can now be uploaded into a 3D virtual environment. Doctors can use this new tool in medical imaging to eliminate the need for invasive procedures, reduce surgical planning time and increase diagnostic accuracy to provide better patient care.


Alternative treatment for seniors

Many seniors who live alone struggle with anxiety, loneliness or depression. Seniors can work with doctors to reduce to symptoms, and medication can help. But for patients who struggle to communicate, that interaction is decreased or non-existent. VR can enrich seniors’ lives by surrounding them in an immersive, relaxing environment. The more patients engage in their virtual world, the less time they spend experiencing and worrying about pain.


What does this mean for Wavelength VR:

VR has already proven to be an efficient distraction tool in a number of studies on pain management. However, no systematic approaches have explored the psychological factors that influence the effectiveness of the analgesic distraction.

Anxiety as well as positive emotions directly affect the experience of pain. We believe colour could also have a significant effect. Future challenges for Wavelength VR include adopting properly validated measures to assess psychological factors and using different experimental conditions to better understand their complex effects.

Link: https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/07/08/medical-virtual-reality/

Inside the HIT Lab

When you hear the word ‘lab’ you probably think of white coats and Bunsen burners. Now add the words ‘Human Interface Technology’ in front of it - and I bet you don’t know what to think! Well neither did I when I boarded the train bound for Birmingham University to meet Prof. Stone and the team.

As I watched the students crossing the street to various campus buildings, I thought back to my time at Uni, and how disappointed I was not to graduate due to knee surgery. I would never have imagined that one day, in the future, I would be in a lift headed to the first floor of the School of Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering to create a virtual reality experience. It was a surreal moment! 

I was greeted by Bob whose cheery disposition and big smile instantly put me at ease. He took me up to his office which was like an organised Aladdin’s man-cave. A library of books, action figures, drones, model ships, reflective jackets, flags, all seemingly with their own purpose and meaning.   

We started discussing my project when Bob stood up to get a small jar containing a little block of paraffin in it. “Here… smell this” he said. It, in fact, smelled like cut grass. I wafted a few more jars under my nose whilst we discussed the use of smell (and sound) to heighten the VR experience.  It was in this moment I understood that Bob was a futurist, and like me, he was interested in pushing creative boundaries, exploring unchartered territory, and loved a challenge.

The rest of the day was spent in the HIT lab which looked like a cool loft apartment. Not a white coat in sight. The array of props, even bigger drones, mannequin heads and multiple large screens seemed to camouflage the team members work stations - which only became evident when they were sitting behind their desks.

Bob and the team demonstrated some of their finest achievements in VR, including a simulation of treating an injured soldier in the back of a Chinook helicopter! I was instantly hooked. However, the real magic (for me) happened behind a dividing shelving unit, at the end of the room.

It felt as if I had been let into a war room, to help crack a code, as if what I was seeing was something top-secret. It was like staring the future in the face and it was a rush. I watched Chris  Bibb put on a VR headset and pick up two controllers and stand in front of an elevated round table.

Three screens faced me giving me the view from Chris’s perspective. The table now was covered in a 3D landscape. At Chris’s eye-level were little models of trees and sheep. I watched Chris reach out and pick up a sheep and drop it into the landscape below him.

Chris was building VR content whilst in VR. Mind officially blown! It’s called immersive VR content creation. Your movement in the real world is mapped one-to-one in VR; you can reach out, grab, and manipulate objects just as you would in real life.

I can't wait to see how the team uses immersive VR content creation to build our first experience ‘BEYOND’.

Watch this space…


HIT Team impact on healthcare with VR

Wavelength VR is honoured to be working with Professor Bob Stone and the HIT Team at The University of Birmingham. Nicknamed ‘The Grandfather of VR’ Bob has been working in virtual reality since the 1970’s. He has worked with NASA, he’s pioneered projects for the Armed Forces in the UK, Canada, and Australia, and he has won multiple national and international awards for his Virtual Reality and Telepresence efforts.

Patients recovering from major surgery are being given the chance to cycle the Devon coast path from their hospital bed.

Researchers from the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) have developed a virtual reality cycling program.

They are now working alongside medical professionals at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to help patients in their recovery.

It took the team over three years to design and develop 'Virtual Wembury', which is based on the village on the south coast of Devon.

Professor Robert Stone who has been working in the field for 30 years, chose the area because he was born and bred there, and the combination of green, sand, and sea makes it an attractive landscape for VR.

The virtual reality program has been designed to enable doctors and nurses here to use it alongside traditional rehabilitation techniques. If this trial is successful, they are hoping that it might be used in other hospitals across the UK.

What we think at Wavelength VR:

Unique to the HIT Team at Birmingham University is their own line of research into Virtual Restorative Environments. They are addressing how to exploit virtual re-creations of areas of natural beauty to help patients recover from traumatic incidents (including operations), and improve the wellbeing of other patients.  Wavelength VR is thrilled to become a part of that research! Our first VR experience ‘BEYOND’ is a garden setting which aims to promote stress reduction and even reduce postoperative recovery times and the need for pharmaceutical pain relief.

Watch this space…

Link: http://www.itv.com/news/central/2017-07-13/virtual-reality-project-helping-patients-to-cycle-the-coast-path/


How Virtual Reality differs from other storytelling mediums

VR creates infinite possibilities - but it’s still a brave new world where the battle for control over the narrative wages on.

The article ‘Virtual Reality: The User Experience of Story’ describes how VR is changing the way of storytelling...

VR requires new skills that are only just starting to be developed and understood, skills that are quite different from traditional storytelling. VR is a nascent medium. One part story, one part experience. And while many of the concepts from film and theater can be used, storytelling through VR is not like making a movie or a play.

In VR, the user has to be guided through an experience of a story, which means many of the challenges in telling a VR story are closer to UX design than anything from film or theater.

In VR storytelling, you can convince someone they are standing on the surface of Mars, but if they can’t pick up the rocks, they won’t believe it.

What we think at Wavelength VR: We like being in control

Steven Spielberg was quoted saying "I think we're moving into a dangerous medium with virtual reality. The only reason I say it is dangerous is because it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from the storytellers but make their own choices of where to look.

"I just hope it doesn't forget the story when it starts enveloping us in a world that we can see all around us and make our own choices to look at."

At Wavelength VR we don’t think immersion is something to be afraid of - its something to be embraced.

When exploring a virtual world ‘users’ pick up pieces of the story along the way. The beauty of immersion is that the story becomes personal by choosing the order in which you pick up the pieces. This gives the user a sense of control over the narrative, by having the choice of where to look and what to explore, and we at Wavelength VR see this as something hugely beneficial.

When using VR for pain management, bio-feedback devices will allow patients to use their own body functions such as heart rate, breath, body temperatures, etc. to change the VR environment. Knowing they are capable of influencing the outcome of the experience only heightens the, already present, sense of control within the VR environment. Restoring a sense of control has been proven to alleviate patients distress and allows them to regain hope.

No other storytelling medium gives you this sense of control over the story and we think it is the most exciting aspect of virtual reality.  

Tell us what you think... is Steven Spielberg right or wrong - will the narrative be lost if we have control over it?   

Link: https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/virtual-reality-the-user-experience-of-story/