“I Have No Pain Anymore”, a virtual reality application developed to relieve physical and mental suffering

In the Basque Country, Pierre Laperade and Nanda Fernández Predéar developed Virtual Therapy, films that combine real images with virtual interactions. Based on therapeutic approaches, they want to support patients and seniors in their care journey.

Over the river, a butterfly lands in the palm of your hand. All around you, the sound of water and birds are the only sounds that disturb the silence of this Pyrenean forest. This is one of the scenarios offered by Virtual Therapia, a virtual reality therapy app. “All experiences are based on nature, the benefits of which everyone recognizes.”“, specifies Pierre Lapierade, co-founder of Virtual Therapia.

The idea was born in 2020, in the minds of Pierre Laperade and Nanda Fernández Bridíar. They wanted to really pioneer VR movies “to escape” Confined elderly people. “We saw that elderly people remained locked in their rooms and thought of a solution to ensure that these people avoid letting themselves die of loneliness.”“, explains Nanda Fernandes Prediyar, co-founder of the app.

They then decide to combine freedom with treatment: in this application, each scenario is “tailored” according to the diseases being treated and the hypnosis methods used. “We have about ten trials in the application, with several different types of treatments that have been adapted,” Pierre Laperade explains.

With the support of the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce as well as the Community of Basque Municipalities, the project is located in the Izarbel Technology Park in Bidart. In the building, developers optimize the icons to interact as naturally as possible with the elements. “We had quite a few difficulties blending these real media techniques with the video game part, so that it was realistic. It took a lot of back and forth between the wizards and the developers. Meet the co-founder of the app.

For several months, their work has been tested first-hand in nursing homes, in a home for the disabled and at Bayonne Hospital, in the oncology department in particular. “The therapist writes the script, and Pierre and Nanda design the film based on the metaphors we often use in Ericksonian hypnosis,” Explains Agnès Meunier-Doutil, a rheumatologist and hypnotist at Bayonne Hospital.

We do not replace treatments, but rather combine them without side effects. We will reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality to reduce the risk of falling or speed up the recovery process.

Pierre Laperade

One of the founders of virtual therapy

The results are relentless. At the Haizpean nursing home in Ondaye, Fili goes to a virtual reality session every Wednesday. A moment of pause for the retiree, away from the pain that afflicts her body on a daily basis. “It's an experience I've never had before. It makes me feel so happy, it's like I've never felt any pain anywhere else.The resident smiles.

“Starting from scratch,” the two founders worked for three years to improve scenarios and interactions. The virtual treatment should be commercialized in the coming months. The startup is now looking for funds to support and develop its project.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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