Medibank gives the gift of VR this Christmas

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 5 December 2016

Medibank is giving the gift of virtual reality this Christmas, launching ‘Joy’ – an immersive experience for hospital patients. 

Joy is designed to alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness this silly season, immersing patients into animated environments.

Medibank GM of marketing Fiona Le Brocq says: “Medibank is for the better health of all Australians - whether they’re in good health, in recovery, or living with health issues. We’re looking into all kinds of ways to demonstrate this - and this latest initiative is just one of those ways.

“The power of VR is becoming increasingly realised, and globally, we’re seeing the technology being applied to support various health issues - from pain management to PTSD treatment. Knowing the high prevalence of loneliness amongst those in hospital - and that the issue is likely to peak over the festive season - we wanted to see how we could help. Through Joy, we’re excited to be the first Aussie health insurer to explore the vast potential of virtual reality. To help people be healthier in this way is truly fantastic.”

With Joy landing in partner hospitals yesterday, the initiative is being launched with a digitally-led PR and content campaign encouraging Aussies to visit their loved ones this Christmas.

The campaign will be supported by a paid media strategy focused entirely on social, and kicks off via a 90-second video content piece, which is being pushed out across Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

It was was conceived by agency B.B.E, alongside VR specialists Liminal, in response to new Medibank research which found loneliness is a growing issue, and Aussies with health concerns are amongst those most at risk.

Liminal clinical neuroscientist and neuropsychologist Sami Yamin says: "Medibank’s research shows many hospital patients suffer from loneliness, but feel too unwell to do something about it. Knowing this, we’ve helped create an experience which transports patients from their current situation and allows them to feel unencumbered by their physical constraints for a while. Joy was conceived out of extensive research into the known alleviations of loneliness, including pet therapy, bibliotherapy and the incorporation of nature scenes, resulting in an experience which takes patients to a virtual world where they can feel comfort and connection.”

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