We had the pleasure to interview Valentino Megale, CEO of SoftCare Studios, that told us more about TOMMI, their virtual reality technology! SoftCare Studios was selected for a start-up acceleration program connected through Europe!
TOMMI is a virtual reality experience, delivered as a gaming content, designed to “improve the quality of life of pediatric patients during stressful medical procedures and hospitalisation”. The content represents the first product by the digital health startup Softcare Studios and its goal is to help children better cope with therapy, reducing their pain and anxiety, making them more collaborative with doctors, also improving the work routine of the medical staff reducing time and costs to manage patients.
When using TOMMI during, before or after procedures, it affects the way the brain and body perceive pain and offers a distraction from what is going on outside the experience. This assists in keeping patients calm and cooperative which allows the procedures to go forward in more effective and efficient ways, creating a situation where there is a collaboration between all the caregivers and the patients. It is possible to use it even during dental visits to help patients remain calm and more relaxed, allowing the procedure to be completed more quickly and efficiently than without TOMMI.
TOMMI is designed as an distraction and training tool, as its game mechanics work stimulating the sensory, cognitive and motor skills of children. We’re working to make it possible for the experience to measure such performances and provide insightful data, useful to better connect patients’ experience with the operational routine of the hospital. This is a key goal towards a deeper awareness of the importance of mental and social well being of patients during therapy. A value not only for patients but for the entire healthcare system. It’s also an opportunity to better personalise the interventions on patients’ needs and conditions.
To reach this goal virtual reality “should be implemented not only as a tool but as part of a wider workflow and mindset, a different approach to patients and their needs during medical treatments”. The system should be approached as a tool to “improve the quality of patients’ therapy journey and make their access to care services more focused on their human and social needs”.
There are currently different clinical trials of TOMMI, in Italy and in the US (Houston), useful to collect more evidences about the objective impact of TOMMI on patients’ experience and the work routine of doctors. An additional benefit is that it is expanding the communication among the care providers, the patients, the doctors and the nurses. TOMMI is becoming “a platform that connects all the stakeholders” as a “way to enter in contact with the others and establish” a communication channel and a social dimension significant for therapy’s outcomes. New hospital trials are coming soon as well, and as Softcare Studios our goal is now to expand the model we perfectioned during these years adapting that to support new target patients in different clinical settings.