Posted on: 13 October 2022

Staff experienced how extended reality (XR) could be used to deliver healthcare when CNWL HQ was visited by The Fred Company earlier this month.

XR is an umbrella term that includes virtual and augmented reality, and it is emerging as a pioneering new way of both treating patients and training medical professionals.

Imagine someone who is struggling with their mental health being able to practice mindfulness or crisis de-escalation in a safe, yet totally immersive, space.

Or giving the family and friends of a Parkinson’s patient the opportunity to gain a better insight into how they experience the world.

And it’s not just patienVR1.jpgts who can benefit from XR. By embracing XR, medical students can experience examinations, procedures and operations in a simulated environment with no risk to patients.

Richard de Vere White, CNWL’s Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation, believes XR has the potential to improve our offering in a wide range of departments from mental health to health and justice.

He said: “There are so many applications to XR which can improve the lives of patients and staff. It provides a more effective use of time, resources and the ultimately allows us to deliver better care.

“CNWL is gathering momentum in using XR technologies across the Trust, which is great to see.

“I would love to see a CNWL where any staff member has the opportunity to take a break in a virtual environment, build effective teams, break down barriers, whether that is staff-to-staff or staff-to-patient, empowering service users and driving engagement in their health.”