Founded by Evelyn Chan and Paul Leong, Smileyscope is a comprehensive virtual reality (VR) digital therapeutic suite of products that helps keep children calm and still for needles, making it safer and easier for clinicians to perform the procedure.
The team entered the Accelerator program in 2017, with a vision to make healthcare a better place and a mission to transform the experience of paediatric needles, a $3 billion market per annum in Australia and the US alone.
To inform their solution they reviewed over 12,000 papers, performed hundreds of user tests and embedded over 24 best clinical and digital practices into their VR solution. They then scientifically tested these in the world's largest clinical trial in paediatric needles using VR (252 patients), in a study that confirmed the Smileyscope VR adventure makes children’s needle experience better.
Since then the company has either won or been shortlisted for 12 awards in healthcare, design, technology, social enterprise, and transformed the patient experience for over 1,000 paediatric needle procedures.
Smileyscope is rapidly expanding into developing digital therapeutics for other paediatric and adult medical procedures.
Growing up, Evelyn watched her siblings bawling during their vaccinations, unable to help. Then, as a paediatric doctor, she attended thousands of needle procedures. Many were traumatic for the child, their parents and clinicians. These events left a lasting impression on her. Evelyn knew there had to be a better way to manage the pain, anxiety and distress of needle procedures. Virtual reality, which virtually takes the child away from the needle procedure, is that better option. Dr Evelyn Chan is a medical doctor, BCG consultant and Rhodes Scholar. She developed Smileyscope because she’s passionate about transforming paediatrics, and developing innovative solutions to enable healthcare to be patient-centred, sustainable and equitable.
Dr Paul Leong is a board-certified medical specialist who routinely performs invasive procedures. He has formal postgraduate training in public health and is interested in the application of technology to procedures in healthcare. Seeing patients with severe needle phobias, he was convinced that there was a kinder way to manage needle procedures, and one that would enhance the experience for patients, family and staff. And so Smileyscope was born. Paul coordinates Smileyscope's research program.