February 16, 2018

Thousands of children across the world are suffering from life-limiting conditions like muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. In some areas like Eastern Europe, there is little state support for them and their families and the children often lead isolated lives, struggling to integrate into the school system and society as a whole.

Hospices for Hope started up to provide much-needed support to these children, as well as other people who struggle to access adequate healthcare overall, providing new care facilities and utilising the latest in healthcare technology solutions. Our work is helping to show how a new type of care can be offered worldwide, introducing the latest technologies into the hospital setting.

Ground-breaking work at Tech House Copaceni, Romania

One of the latest projects we have been working on is Copaceni, our children’s respite and therapy centre, due to fully open in 2018. The centre will facilitate respite summer trips, have a state of the art outpatient unit, provide training facilities for medical staff and temporary emergency accommodation for families facing homelessness. Our ground-breaking Tech House at Copaceni employs promising new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality techniques, providing new care options for pain management and making prolonged hospital stays more manageable for children.

Our work using these technologies is supported by Dr Brennan Spiegel, Director of Cedars-Sinai Centre for Outcomes Research and Education in Los Angeles, who specialises in research into digital health technologies and how they can improve care outcomes whilst being very cost effective. As ambassador for our project, Dr Spiegel has lead the way for us to employ tech solutions, at Copaceni and across our hospices in Romania, with children and our hospice patients benefitting from this exciting project.

Technology letting kids be kids in the hospital setting

We have seen how Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies can reduce pain levels, working to distract the brain and providing a safe alternative to opioids for pain management. These technologies can also provide an escape from the confines of a hospital room, helping to reduce anxiety and boost the mood of patients in prolonged hospital care. Kids can be kids at Tech House Copaceni, bringing cartoon characters to life via augmented reality tablet games, travel around the world or fly above mountains at our VR game and travel station, or play in interactive sandboxes and on augmented climbing walls – we are using technology in new and exciting ways to provide the best in care for children. Kids are able to play, exercise and express themselves whilst getting the healthcare they need.

Showing the way for tech-led hospital care

Our work in collaboration with Dr Spiegel and the team at Cedars-Sinai is helping to demonstrate how new technology can be employed in the care setting to great effect, showing the worldwide healthcare community new possibilities that are both effective for patients as well as being very cost effective for healthcare budgets.

Find out more about our work.