When pediatric cancer patient Elizabeth first tried Virtual Reality (VR), she exclaimed
that it was “amazing and exciting.” She didn’t realize it at first, but VR would prove to be
an aid in the hospital for her and her fellow study participants. Elizabeth is the first of
seven teens to test VR in 18Loop and the American Childhood Cancer
Organization’s (ACCO) Joint Experimental Intervention Research Study (JEIRS).
Together, 18Loop and the ACCO are seeking to prove that VR is safe and effective in
aiding kids with cancer in their treatment and recovery. The research team is working
closely with Tripp, a startup xR company that delivers Virtual Stress Management in a
comforting high tech meditative package. This week, 18Loop and the ACCO are sharing
early data from JEIRS, and it looks like they are on track. Tripp and VR as a whole are
an early success with the kids.
One of the key data points derived from the survey sent to the first seven 18Loop/ACCO
JEIRS kids was that 100% of them felt VR made for a better hospital stay. Six of
seven felt that Tripp’s environment improved their mood and six of seven also felt
that VR as a whole made them better off. More than half of the study participants felt
that Tripp helped with pain, and all used the software at least once a week. Luke, an
ACCO kid, pointed out that Tripp was effective, but that VR was also a big help in
fighting boredom in the hospital. It provides access to another world that the kids love to
With VR, you can get a multi-player effect, and family can join in. Successful family
intervention is prized in the Palliative Care community and VR offers an opportunity to
reach families as a whole. The 18Loop/ACCO kids (including mothers and siblings)
used a variety of VR games successfully, all while maintaining a regimen with Tripp to
affect mood. These preliminary metrics and observations from our kids are encouraging,
albeit from a small sample size. 18Loop plans to distribute fifteen total VR
headsets with access to Tripp in the first phase of JEIRS. A second phase is currently
being planned and funded, with an eye on younger participants.
18Loop is grateful for its partnership with the ACCO, and credits their organization for
providing access and joint management oversight for JEIRS. Ruth Hoffman, ACCO
CEO, has had many ideas about the application of VR and has given 18Loop the green
light to implement them. Blair Cresawn, 18Loop’s day to day contact at the ACCO, has
tirelessly worked with 18Loop/ACCO kids to ensure that the technology is being
received and reviewed effectively. Our calls with JEIRS kids have been lively and
informative. Once we connect through the ACCO, we feel a sense of larger community
within which we have begun to support Advocacy efforts alongside our partners.
It is expected that the initial research done on VR can eventually lead to technology
distribution to a larger portion of the 16,000 kids that get diagnosed with pediatric
cancer each year. Tripp has contributed to 18Loop’s work as well, donating five Oculus
headsets for testing and offering support with technology monitoring and adoption. We
are happy to work with CEO Nanea Reeves, whose generosity and leadership have
benefitted us greatly. Please take a look at the preliminary 18Loop/ACCO JEIRS study results below and support us in helping kids with cancer with VR.
Learn more about the 18Loop + ACCO Partnership here. If you are interested in joining our 18Loop study, please email Blair for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.