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Virtual reality now used to ease cancer patients during treatment

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- A virtual reality experience to be offered at an infusion clinic in St. Joseph.

The Marie Yeager Clinic, run by Lakeland Hospitals, has a new virtual reality program they will be implementing.

The virtual reality, or VR, program is used to take cancer patients outside the clinic without physically leaving.

"Infusion patients have to be near their care and because they can't travel, they're able to see in VR. Go to Venice, go to France, go Alaska, travel to Colorado," said Brendon Beede, the Senior Project Manager.

Blood pressure levels and anxiety levels are studied in patients and once those are determined, the patients can start experimenting with the virtual reality.

The goal is to ease patients during their treatments.

"Being able to take them out of that moment even if it's 30 minutes or 2 hours, it's a moment in time that they're able to focus on something that's positive or relaxing," said Dr. Barbara Schmidtman, Manager of Radiation Oncology.

The idea to combine virtual reality and infusions began in 2016.

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