Digital therapeutic company revolutionizing patient-centered care on a global scale


Smileyscope being used to support a child patient through a needle procedure

Snapshot of Smileyscope’s underwater adventure a patient experiences during a medical procedure

Dr Paul Leong, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Smileyscope receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Digital therapeutics company revolutionizing patient-centered care by utilizing virtual reality to reduce patient pain and anxiety during medical procedures

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, March 22, 2021 / — Melbourne-based medical device company, Smileyscope, has developed a revolutionary virtual reality (VR) headset for patients that reframes a needle procedure into a choreographed, amazing ‘underwater adventure’ which has been designed to reduce patients’ pain and anxiety.

In a recent interview with the McKinsey Global Health Tech Network, Smileyscope Co-Founder Dr Evelyn Chan spoke about her motivations for creating Smileyscope:

“I got into medicine to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Having poked thousands of needles into children, I can tell you that the reality is that the practice of medicine is often traumatic for children, family, and healthcare providers alike.”

“I was frustrated by the lack of options to help children with their biggest healthcare fears: needles. To address this, I led a group who have conducted world-leading research into virtual reality. Firstly, we reviewed scientific literature, finding that VR had promise but that there were serious flaws with existing products. So, we co-developed and patented an underwater VR experience that is synchronized with the medical procedure. We partnered with Disney producers to create a world-class animation where waves wash during antiseptic cleaning, and fish nibble when clinicians insert the needle. It teaches patients positive coping skills, making procedures with needles faster, safer, and cheaper to perform.”

Smileyscope’s effectiveness was proven in the world’s largest clinical trial in procedural VR and published in the prestigious Journal of Pediatrics (Chan et al., The J of Peds 2019). The study found that Smileyscope reduced pain by up to 60 percent, anxiety by 40 percent, parental distress by 75 percent, and halved the need for restraints. Poor needle experiences in childhood mean that up to 15 percent of adults avoid medical care where needles are involved.

Smileyscope is being utilized in hospitals and clinics across multiple geographies including the USA, Australia, UAE, and UK to improve the patient experience. Clinicians are using Smileyscope during a range of medical procedures such as wound dressings or sutures, anesthetic induction, using nitrous oxide, awaiting theatre and plaster cast applications/removals and much more. The device is equipped with multiple language options including English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Italian.

The positive impact of Smileyscope is not limited to the immediate patient. Patient stories below show the benefits Smileyscope also has for caregivers and clinicians:

Max (not his real name) is a 10-year-old admitted with osteomyelitis (bone infection), requiring a PICC line insertion for intravenous antibiotics. He has a history of autism. Max used Smileyscope for a number of procedures including blood tests and PICC line dressing changes.
• Max exclaimed “I liked experiencing different scenes”
• Parents said “It totally transformed our son. He was more compliant with nursing care.”

Shelley (not her real name) is a 13-year-old for steroid injections for alopecia (hair loss). Shelley needed to hand-hold the device to allow the doctors to inject her scalp. She selected the Relax module in Smileyscope. Shelley commented “Best injections yet, I didn’t even feel injections I was so focused on what was on the screen”. Shelly asked to use it again next time (3 months), and would like to experience the other adventures.
• Mom said “Wow, wow, wow she didn’t even flinch or move”
• Nursing staff found “We just used minimal nitrous (sedation) compared to using higher doses with previous injections”

Smileyscope use is not limited to young patients and new experiences have been created for adults with a fear of needles. The company has commenced a project with a large hospital network in Australia to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Dr Evelyn Chan commented “We have broadened our applications beyond children and teens and created a COVID-19 Vaccine Program to support adults with needle anxiety!”

Smileyscope is at the forefront of digital therapeutics and is utilizing technology to create non-invasive interventions that drastically improve the patient experience during medical procedures.

To celebrate Child Life Month, Smileyscope are offering free trials for hospitals to test out the device and see how well it fits into their clinical practice until the end of March 2021. Contact Smileyscope at, and provide a reason as to why you want to trial/use Smileyscope to see if you qualify for a two-week free trial.

Jonathan Egudo
+1 888-300-7117
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