Smileyscope: redefining fear through advanced VR technology

  • 2020

  • Product
    Medical and Scientific

Commissioned By:

Smileyscope Pty Ltd

Designed In:


Smileyscope transforms medical procedures through VR, starting with kids’ needles. We keep patients calm, making needles faster, safer and cheaper. Turning fear into fun means increased vaccinations, medication compliance, reduced needle phobias and healthier communities. Hospitals also use Smileyscope to help patients during procedures such as medical imaging and surgery.

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  • Two doctors wanted to develop a game-changing tool that would transform their medical procedures for patients. They wanted a virtual reality device that was: - Patient-friendly, light-weight and comfortable: especially for children and families when they are often fearful and distressed when they come into hospital or clinics - Fast and easy-to-use for clinicians with limited training (less than 3 minutes to learn a new device) - Medical-safe and meeting hospital infection control requirements - Able to be used in a wide range of medical settings: including GP clinics, emergency departments, surgical theatres and medical imaging There was no device available off-the-shelf.

  • Smileyscope solves clinically important issues through improving patient experience through innovative virtual reality technology. We consulted over 30 clinicians, a dozen software/hardware specialists and 100+ patients and their families to ensure we created a product that was a powerfully effective tool to improve patients’ medical experiences. Smileyscope’s VR experience transforms needle experiences into a fun underwater adventure where kids never see the needle – instead, they swim with fish and dolphins, and when they surface, the needle is over. It’s easy for clinicians to use and complements their clinical practice. The hardware is kid-friendly and healthcare compatible.

  • Smileyscope’s VR is clinically proven to reduce pain and anxiety through a large randomised controlled trial. Smileyscope enables best care in settings as varied as hospitals, rural and regional clinics. Differences are immediate and tangible: - Patients often are surprised that the needle has already been done when they finish their VR adventure. - Carers feel relieved that their loved one is getting the best care. One parent said: “she’s had over 300 needles and this the first time she didn’t cry”. - Clinicians say Smileyscope has transformed their practice: patients are no longer scared, and procedures much faster and safer.

  • Small 'grab-and-go' device: it fits easily on the procedural trolley, clinic desk or bag. It is one-piece and cordless, so that there are no controllers to lose or cords to plug in. Clinicians can take Smileyscope to anywhere that they practice and move it quickly from one patient to another. Lightweight and comfortable design: to enable children as young as four years old to be able to use VR Has a pivotable headpiece: allowing patients to peek and move between the VR experience and watching the procedure if they wish. The pivot also enables oxygen and anaesthesia masks to fit with the VR device, allowing for clinicians to do their work easily while Smileyscope supports the patient. Hospital-grade and antimicrobial: most VR headsets have elastic, fabric and other materials which risk the spread of infection between patients. Smileyscope is made of medical-grade materials, with an anti-microbial additive for extra protection. This is especially important during the pandemic and flu season. Intuitive: design language ensures that clinicians can easily operate the device with touchscreen and clearly marked buttons. Software-optimised: clinicians to go a full session without recharging, and verbal prompts encourage the user to recharge when the battery is low