This week virtual reality has made headlines for its use in raising awareness of Dementia, which affects 800,000 in the UK alone. We ask if virtual reality is the key to understanding our health.
Dementia, which causes progressive memory loss and confusion, is estimated to affect 800,000 people in the UK according to The House of Commons Library and this figure is worryingly set to increase. Alzheimer’s Research UK have recently launched an app that reveals what life is like for those with dementia to raise awareness of the debilitating effects of the illness. Now charities hope that the immersive experience of donning a virtual reality headset will encourage shoppers to donate to fund dementia research and are planning to equip their street fundraisers with headsets in the coming months.
Virtual reality is still considered experimental marketing. However, it is hoped that the pull of the naturalistic experience VR offers will encourage people to donate to dementia not-for-profits, whereas they may usually be put off by persistent street charity fundraisers known as ‘Chuggers’.
A few charitable organisations have successfully pioneered virtual reality to raise awareness and fundraise in the past. Last year, Amnesty International ran its first virtual reality experimental events to support their campaign for Syria. Have a look at how they used affordable headsets to bring the devastation of the war in Syria to passers-by on the streets of London:
Perhaps this method could apply to our approach to healthcare in general? Many of the body’s processes still remain a mystery to the average person. Virtual reality allows us to see what is usually un-seeable: inside the mind and memories of a dementia suffer or the crumbling devastation of a war-torn country. The precedent set by charities could mean virtual reality becoming a prevalent means of educating the public about their health and that of their family members, as well as aiding research into illness in the near future.
As more international organisations opt to incorporate virtual reality into their campaigns and headsets are becoming cheaper to source, this exciting prospect is becoming more likely. It was only this year that the NHS discovered VR pivotal in paralysed patients regaining some nerve function – it seems VR is making compelling inroads into our understanding of our bodies as well as the world around us.
Here at Spinning Clock, we’re really excited by all that virtual reality has to offer and we’re working with a number of clients to harness it’s benefits and bring their campaigns to life. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, drop us a line: 0115 9430777 / firstname.lastname@example.org.