Dr. Difede, is a Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Medicine, an Attending Psychologist at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies (PATSS). She is internationally recognized for her pioneering work using virtual reality technology in the treatment of PTSD consequent to the WTC attack of September 11, 2001, and more recently in the treatment of combat-related PTSD. Dr. Difede currently uses the Dolphin footage during a study where people undergoing treatment for burning wounds.
Thanks to the Norwegian Cancer Society cancer treatment for young Norwegians in need of a bone marrow transplant is a little less harsh. Post operative recovery entails isolation in a sterile tent for up to six weeks. Since late 2016 a set of VR Goggles and the 360° VR movie of the Dolphin Swim Club helps them to cope. Virtual wild dolphins don't just help them to escape reality. They help them to live in it.
Clients of Dutch healthcare facility Heeren Loo (10,000 residents) can enjoy virtual reality in specially developed relaxation rooms. A study took place with a group of 55 residents with learning disabilities who were also suffering from very high-stress levels. 82% showed and reported a considerable improvement after experiencing the Dolphin Swim Club VR on a regular base. One man no longer experienced the chronic pains he continuously had in his arm. A girl with autism almost didn't sleep for 4 years, but now she swims-with-the-dolphins before bedtime and redeveloped a healthy sleep pattern.
In March 2017 doctors at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford started a pilot study called "Project Braveheart" researching the effect of VR on anxiety and stress levels. 40 patients, youngsters in the age of 8 to 25, with congenital heart diseases take part. Using VR goggles patients can follow a tour guiding them along the exact path that will take place on the day of their procedure. Throughout the tour, patients can access relaxation programs like "Swimming with Wild Dolphins" the 360 VR movie by the Dolphin Swim Club.
Voluntechies, a non profit organisation based in Spain, is convinced we can improve people's lives by using new technologies. Volunteers visit hospitalized children, disabled and elderly people, showing them the latest in Virtual Reality and other technologies. They take participants "outside" reality and let them discover the relaxing, healing environment of the wild dolphins swimming and playing along.
There are so many uses and benefits already - it's time to bring this to the UK!