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'MS from the Inside Out' Uses Virtual Reality to Share What Life for Patients is Like

June 8, 2017

The Ontario-based biopharmaceutical firm EMD Serono, Canada, is now using virtual reality (VR) technology as an informational and educational tool to prove people a profound understanding of what it’s like living with multiple sclerosis (MS). EMD has called their VR program “MS from the Inside Out.” VR uses head-mounted goggle screens, audio and sound effects, and haptic sensations to create virtual environments. From there, the user can explore and move around within to interact with the stimulated effects.

Users walk in a MS patient’s shoes using the EMD program. It’s ten minutes long, and immerses those who use the head-mounted VR goggles in an interactive, virtual and sensory-rich space that allows them to briefly experience what people with MS go through on a day-to-day basis. Users should have a better understanding of the disease after using the VR program. “The effects of MS can be physical and emotional, and because its symptoms are often invisible, the experiences of those suffering from MS can be difficult for caregivers, family and friends to understand,” said Daniel Selchen, director of the MS Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “Knowing that, raising awareness of MS is critical, and gaining insight into the journey a person living with MS faces allows us to further understand this complex disease.” According to the MS Society of Canada, Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. Therefore, the program and understanding MS is very important in Canada for both researchers and for the public.

Via MS News Today