Child of the Earth: using VR to improve the lives of very sick children

Categories: Care and Featured.

Film makers Adam Recht and Claudio Fäh, directors of the popular Sniper movies, have made a 12 minute documentary on the power of technology to improve the quality of life of a teenager with cystic fibrosis.

The documentary, Child of the Earth, introduces the viewer to 17-year-old Kevin Floris with advanced Cystic Fibrosis. Severely limited in what he can do and where he can go, through VR, Kevin is given the opportunity to escape his reality and make a virtual visit to the International Space Station.

Visual development Magnopus created the VR experience. According to former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski, who appears in the film, the depiction of the ISS is about as real as it gets without actually being there.

After his experience Kevin says, “When I go in there, I just forget about what I have and this condition. When you’re up there, you feel normal. You have no worries.”

The virtual reality experience programme to which Kevin belongs was launched last year by TrinityKids, a paediatric hospice programme in Los Angeles and Orange County run by Providence Health and Services.

Talking about the children in the programme, Dr Glen Komatsu, regional chief officer for palliative care at Providence St. Joseph Health in California, tells viewers, “We want to give them small moments of joy – to let them not be sick for a day.”

Read more here and watch the film below.