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Michigan startup uses augmented reality to give pediatric patients “moments of escape and joy”

Augmented reality app
Courtesy of SpellBound
“The technology we work with is super immersive," York said. She is working with hospitals to offer the app to pediatric patients to act as Distraction Therapy.";

The Next Idea

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition announced its list of winners earlier this month.

It's time to meet one of them: Christina York, CEO of SpellBound, joined Stateside to talk about the app that just won her company the People’s Choice Award.

Credit Courtesy of SpellBound
A child plays with SpellBound's augmented reality app, which York sees as a tool for distraction and imagination.

Her company produces Augmented Reality Therapy. It's a therapy that helps kids undergoing extensive medical treatments be more comfortable and less fearful.

On the app’s goals

“It creates a mini-imaginative world that they can interact with, really immerse themselves, divert attention, as well as develop motor skills.”

“It’s this idea of also giving them moments of escape and joy while they’re in the hospital to help them with their healing.”

On next steps

“Our next big thing is about transforming spaces.… These children can be living for months and months and months in a hospital, and, if you’ve been in a hospital, you know what those rooms look like. Even a children’s hospital which may be beautifully decorated, it doesn’t change this tiny little room. So we can put a wall decal, a simple, removable sticker on the wall that, when they point the device at it, suddenly their room is an undersea world or an outer-space adventure.”

Click here to learn more about the app.

The Next Idea is Michigan Radio’s project devoted to new innovations and ideas that will change our state.

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