Reimagine Well Launches “Experiential Education” Program to Reduce Need for Pediatric Sedation

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., April 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — “MRI exams and radiation treatments can be terrifying for adults, but for children the anxiety is often so overwhelming that they need to be fully sedated. Research is beginning to show a correlation between frequent pediatric sedation and long-term developmental problems for young patients,” said Dr. Leonard Sender, Medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Co-Founder of Reimagine Well. “We’ve developed a unique solution to this problem.”

Experiential Education” enables patients to experience treatments and procedures virtually, at their own comfort level, in a gamified environment that is a precise replica of the room where they will be treated, lowering anxiety and the need for sedation. Clinicians can coach, guide, and acclimate the patient to procedures ahead of time, both on computer screens and VR headsets.

Child Life Specialist Debbie Wagers and her team at Nebraska Medicine have been collaborating with Reimagine Well in the development of this program and have begun a formal IRB study. “Our prior proof of concept pilot showed that 100% of children under the age of 5 received sedation to complete their radiation therapy. After our improved education process, the mean age of children receiving sedation for radiation treatment was 2.6 years,” said Wagers.

The program includes a 3-D rendering of the Nebraska Medicine pediatric radiation room. Patients explore the room using an Xbox controller, interacting with the hospital’s mascot, “Casey the Lion.” As the video shows, Casey asks, “Are you ready to proceed with your treatment?” When comfortable the simulation begins. If they are ready for greater immersion, they can try the VR headsets (though this is not required). A plush toy version of Casey accompanies the child into the actual procedure.

The sedation reduction program and Reimagine Well’s additional “Community VR” experiences can be previewed at the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) Conference, April 11th-14th in Chicago, Illinois. The programs will be available in the Child’s Play booth. Conference attendees who would like a demonstration or would like to schedule an overview via video teleconference, contact Project Coordinator, Pam Carstens.  

Dr. Sender adds, “We’re very excited about the use of Experiential Education, enabling patients to explore and learn in new ways — in an interactive format that feels like play!”

About Reimagine Well
Reimagine Well provides a proprietary platform and programs designed for infusion therapy, assisted living, and more; and has compiled an extensive library of patient-directed immersive healing experiences and disease-specific ‘Learn Guides’ hosted by clinicians and medical experts. Roger Holzberg and Leonard Sender, MD, founded Reimagine Well. Sender is a specialist with the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s Hospital, Orange County, California, is board certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and is a clinician and researcher. Holzberg is the founder of My Bridge 4 Life, a former award-winning Disney Imagineer, the first (consulting) Creative Director of the National Cancer Institute and a 15-year cancer survivor.

Contact: Pam Carstens
Phone: (949) 793-8777

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