Wakefield Company Uses Virtual Reality To Help Cancer Patients

Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

MELROSE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A local company is using virtual reality to help cancer patients with their mental health during treatments.

Rocket VR Health works to combine mental health therapies and treatments and transform them into a virtual reality experience. The technology allows patients to spend time with their loved ones virtually while in the hospital and visit 20 different virtual reality environments that help transport them out of their hospital rooms.

Sid Desai, the co-founder and CEO of Rocket VR Health, told WBZ's James Rojas the technology allows patients to play mental health games and meditate in an effort to make their treatment easier.

"We look at this as a modality that can still drive engagement and adherence for these patients while still making therapy fun," Desai said.

Desai said he was inspired to found the company after his dad died of cancer, and saw how the treatments impacted him.

"As a family member, I was a first-hand witness to lack of mental and behavioral health interventions that are offered and available to cancer patients worldwide," Desai said. "I think my dad would definitely be very happy that I'm doing something that would change people's lives."

Right now Rocket VR Health is partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital to provide virtual reality technology for the hospital's cancer patients. Desai said MGH was impressed when gave them a demo of the technology.

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"Immediately their minds were blown," Desai said. "They were like this is completely different, this is going to be amazing for some of their cancer population."

Rocket VR Health is also working on partnering with Penn Medicine in Philadelphia and St. Jude's in Memphis.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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