STAR STARTUPS / GRAND-EST. Strasbourg-based startup HypnoVR hopes to make a breakthrough in the operating room with its virtual reality video medical hypnosis software.
The virtual journey starts as a video in a woodland scene. Soothing music played through headphones softens the ambient noise. The journey lasts several minutes. Immersed in a 3D environment, the viewer flies over streams and mountains. The journey ends like a dream in the clouds, beside a gliding eagle. The voice accompanying the video invites the patient to relax and focus their thoughts on the virtual world unfolding before their eyes. The film creates an environment conducive to hypnosis. Disconnected from reality, the patient is ready for surgery. This kind of experience is set to spread across operating rooms. Hypnosedation is a recognized technique: imported from Switzerland, it has been used in health facilities since the 1970s. For the patient, the impacts can be beneficial: fewer side effects, fewer anesthesia-related complications, and an easier postoperative experience.
In France, almost six million patients per year undergo anesthesia. HypnoVR firmly believes it has much to offer the healthcare sector, and intends to conquer the market. “The growth in hypnosis for anesthesia is limited by the lack of suitably trained physicians and the fact that one anesthesiologist cannot monitor several patients at the same time, the way they can with traditional anesthesia,” points out Denis Graff, the Strasbourg-based doctor who founded the project with his colleague, Chloé Chauvin.
Published on 01/10/2019 by La Tribune and written by Olivier Mirguet