Starlight Virtual Reality Bringing Comfort to Pediatric Patients Nationwide

When Amanda was suddenly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and hospitalized to begin treatment in 2020, her family was shocked. She required intense treatment and even a bone marrow transplant donated by her sister.  

During treatment, the child life specialist at Levine Children's Hospital introduced Amanda to Starlight Virtual Reality (VR), a program focused on helping pediatric patients reduce stress and anxiety related to hospitalization. Right away, Amanda and was hooked, having found something that allowed her to forget about the painful treatments ahead and focus on having fun.

“It just took me to another world and let me be somewhere completely different,” Amanda told us. “Because I wasn’t thinking about everything that was happening and my body was just calmer.”  

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In 2022, over 1,000,000 Virtual Reality sessions were delivered to children at the 500+ hospitals we partner with across the U.S.

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"In certain circumstances, Virtual Reality can be used in place of general anesthesia to help tolerate pain, and in fact, it is having a profound impact on the quality of our hospitalized children’s experiences. We are seeing children who used to require general anesthesia during certain procedures, now able to be fully awake with minimal medications." ~ Joe Albietz, MD, Medical Director of Child Life, Children’s Hospital Colorado 

With hands-free gaze control and voice commands, Starlight VR using Penumbra REAL i-Series offers patients of all ages immersive activities and experiences and even connects with a REAL remote to allow providers, family, and friends to participate in the VR experience. The headsets are infection-control and content-friendly, providing a safe way for pediatric patients to escape their hospital room for a little while. 

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"Starlight VR has had a major impact on our patients! It has brought them joy, has helped calm them if needed, and has created a positive experience for them. It’s taken away from their boredom here at the facility and has given them something to look forward to. When their time is up and we move on to the next activity, they want to come back to Starlight VR, and that is a gift, especially for our nonverbal patients.” ~ Renee Provost, Program Coordinator, A Rosie Place 

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