The Vodafone Malta Foundation and University of Malta are developing advanced technology that involves virtual reality to reduce children’s pain when undergoing treatment that causes stress and discomfort.
The project, with an investment of €113,000 will be an innovation for the medical industry since it combines virtual reality with affective gaming. The programme will be able to determine the physical and emotional state of the child and provide a distraction from the pain, through collected bio metric data.
The Vodafone Malta Foundation will first introduce this technology with children undergoing cancer treatment at Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre.
“We work primarily in the medical and educational sectors through our programme, ‘Connecting for Good’ which focuses on the amalgamation of charity with Vodafone’s technology to make a difference,” stated Michel Macelli, the chairman for the Vodafone Malta Foundation.
Prof. Alfred Vella, the Rector of the University of Malta pointed out that the implications of research on the use of this technology will ensure the success of this treatment to ease the patients’ pain and provide the possibility of cheaper treatment.
He said that, “This project will put Malta on the international map along with other universities conducting the same kind of research.”
The project will be funded by the Research Trust (RIDT) of the University of Malta, and research will be conducted by Profs. Alexei Dingli, Head of the Department of Artificial Intelligence, of the Faculty of ICT, together with the academic team. This specialized technology is expected to be developed within three years.