Virtual Reality-Based Therapy for 100 Children with Incurable or Life-limiting Illnesses • Fundația Vodafone România - e normal sa facem bine

Virtual Reality-Based Therapy for 100 Children with Incurable or Life-limiting Illnesses

Bucharest, November 21, 2017 – More than 100 children across the country suffering from incurable or life-limiting illnesses, who are in the care of the HOSPICE Casa Speranței centers in Bucharest and Brasov, benefit from virtual and augmented reality-based therapy sessions. This solution, called Tech Room, is implemented in two centers and is designed to help children cope with their illness and with the painful medical procedures they often go through. By means of the Tech Room, children can escape for a short while into a reality where they can climb Mount Everest or land with Neil Armstrong on the moon or fly over a city like eagles or swim with dolphins.

The solution based on virtual and augmented reality was implemented in the two centers within the project “Connection for Caring and Compassion” developed through a partnership between the Vodafone Romania Foundation and the HOSPICE Casa Speranței Foundation. The budget of the entire project, whose advanced technology component will increase the efficiency of medical interventions, amounts to almost 760,000 lei. Of this amount, almost 590,000 lei represents the financing provided by the Vodafone Romania Foundation through the Connecting for Good program.

We are increasingly using technology to provide solutions that we could not even imagine a few years ago and the projects within the Connecting for Good program make access to health and social services easier for vulnerable groups”, says Angela Galeța, Director of Vodafone Romania Foundation.

“These solutions enable children in wheelchairs to enter a reality where they are able to run and the kids suffering from serious diseases to experience various jobs by means of the job simulator, to play a gigantic piano they can step on or to interact with fantastic characters by means of an interactive wall. “Connection for Caring and Compassion” is a pioneer project in Romania and we are delighted to have at HOSPICE a state-of-the-art technology that helps us improve the lives of our patients”, says Mihai Mănescu, the project manager.

The Tech Room solution is currently in the testing phase and the results will be used to integrate virtual reality and augmented reality-based interventions into the therapy applied by the HOSPICE multidisciplinary team for children with life-limiting illnesses. Besides the concept based on state-of-the-art technologies, the “Connection for Caring and Compassion” project includes an integrated system of medical, psycho-social-emotional counseling, educational support and respite services, meant to give parents with seriously ill children some spare time to solve other problems or to recover their strength.

The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, set up in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the Vodafone Romania SA’s business. During its 19 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,046 programs run by 660 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had a total of 2 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people and physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, Vodafone Romania has invested over 26 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.

HOSPICE Casa Speranței, a non-profit organization established in 1992 in Brasov, has introduced the concept of palliative care in Romania. HOSPICE is the largest foundation in the country offering free specialized services of this kind. The organization has two integrated service centers in Brasov and Bucharest and mobile teams in Făgăraş and Zarnesti, providing care services to people diagnosed with incurable diseases. HOSPICE has developed comprehensive palliative care services that are provided through daycare centers, outpatient clinics and partner hospitals. In its 25 years of existence, HOSPICE has provided relief and hope to over 22,000 children and adults with incurable illnesses. HOSPICE Casa Sperantei develops palliative care services at national and international level by providing information and educational programs dedicated to professionals, patients and the community and by improving the legislation in the field. More information is available at www.hospice.ro. Further details about the project “Connection for Caring and Compassion” are available at: www.hospice.ro/educatie/proiecte-educatie-dezvoltare.

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