Pain Lab Undergrad Researchers Henry Lo & Janice Ng won Surrey Top 25 under 25 Awards

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Janice Ng and Henry Lo, two of SIAT’s undergraduate students were named the “Top 25 Under 25” by Surrey’s Board of Trade on April 20th 2017. They received their awards at the 7th annual City of Surrey event which celebrated “the incredible initiatives of Surrey’s youth 25 years old or younger.”

The 25 winners were chosen for their business or community achievements, leadership ability, community involvement, professional achievements and uniqueness of their business or community projects.

Janice & Henry worked with Prof. Gromala and BC Children’s Hospital chief oncologist Dr. Caron Strahlendorf to create, build & test a pain distraction VR game (Farmooo) for teens undergoing chemotherapy. They are now working to install and sustain it at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The research from Farmooo will also be featured as a “Hot Topic” at the Canadian Pain Society’s (CPS) Annual Scientific Conference in Halifax in May.

         Figure 1. Farmooo VR Game Title Screenshot

Figure 2. Henry in Head-Mounted Display testing Farmooo

Figure 3. Surrey Top 25 under 25 Award Ceremony (Janice Ng and Henry Lo)

Diane Gromala presents at Canadian Pain Society 2016 Meeting

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Prof. Diane Gromala, PhD, presented “Is VR Useful for Pain Management? Challenges” at the Canadian Pain Society’s (CPS) Annual Scientific Meeting on May 27, 2016. The conference was held this year in Vancouver.

The Panel “Virtual Reality and Pain: A New Frontier or Smoke and Mirrors?” was chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Gold, a doctor at UCLA who specializes in paediatric pain, and Dr. Bernie Garrett from UBC’s School of Nursing who works with VR for chronic pain. The panelists discussed the historical and recent advances in the use of VR to alleviate and manage acute and chronic pain.

Gromala is the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Computational Technologies for Transforming pain, and is the Founding Director of the Chronic Pain Research Institute at SFU. Dr. Gromala began her exploration of VR and pain in 1991, the earliest days of VR. She has worked since that time on VR, focussing on chronic pain with her collaborators and students at the Pain Studies Lab at SFU in Surrey.

Photograph : Prof. Diane Gromala, PhD, at the Canadian Pain Society’s (CPS) Annual Scientific Meeting on May 27, 2016 in Vancouver.

New virtual reality game Farmooo to help young cancer patients

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SFU students Henry Lo and Janice Ng have developed a new virtual reality game called Farmooo. Farmooo serves as a pain management tool for young cancer patients undergoing treatment. Professor Diane Gromala from the Pain Studies Lab is the pairs supervisor. Gromala’s research works at the confluence of computer science, media art and design, and has focused on the cultural, visceral, and embodied implications of digital technologies, particularly in the realm of chronic pain.

Read the full story at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-05-virtual-farm-game-young-cancer.html

Photograph courtesy: Medicalxpress.com, May 20, 2016

Exhibiting Pain

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Susanne Main from the Faculty of Health Social Care, The Open University, UK showcases online exhibitions called ‘Exhibiting Pain.’ These exhibitions are part of a PhD research project that help people in pain communicate what living with pain might look like. The exhibits consist of online art-work in various categories such as painting, installation, sculpture, textile and more and demonstrate how an invisible condition can be made visible through creativity. Main studies how audience interpret these works.

If you are interested in viewing the exhibition or participating in the study, visit: https://exhibitingpain.wordpress.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/groups/exhibitingpain/

Poster presented at Canadian Pain Society Meeting

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Pain Studies Lab members Xin Tong, Professor Diane Gromala, Weina Jin, and Dr. Pam Squire presented a poster at the May, 2016 Canadian Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting held in Vancouver, British Columbia. The poster titled “Two Paradigms of Designing Virtual Reality for Chronic Pain Patients: Pain Self-Modulation vs. Pain Distraction” showcases two VR environments, Virtual Meditative Walk (VMW) and Mobius Floe (MF). Virtual Meditative Walk is a VR environment that focuses attention inward as mindfulness-based stress reduction is used for pain self-modulation. Mobius Floe is a VR environment that focuses attention outward as immersion and cognitive distraction is used for pain distraction.

Related Publication:
Tong, X., Gromala, D., Jin, W., Squire, P. (2016). “Two Paradigms of Designing Virtual Reality for Chronic Pain Patients: Pain Self-Modulation vs. Pain Distraction” Poster, Canadian Pain Society (CPS) Annual Scientific Meeting, Vancouver, May 23–24, 2016.

Pain Studies Lab’s Empathy Game Attracts Interest at the Canadian Pain Societys Annual Scientific Meeting

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The Pain Studies Labs members Weina Jin, Servet Ulaş, Xin Tong, Prof. Gromala and Prof. Shaw presented a poster on their interactive AS IF empathy game at the Canadian Pain Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting (CPS). As a chapter of the IASP (International Association for the Study of Pain), the CPS is a society of pain research scientists and healthcare professionals.

It was a delight to see that our work gained recognition from medical and pain research community. During the presentation, some of the interested healthcare professionals suggested that this game could have additional applications beyond its starting point, which is to elicit the public’s empathy towards people with chronic pain. For example, some attendees were enthusiastic about how useful the game would be in helping to educate medical and nursing students about what a patient’s experience is like. It was exciting to get inspirations from medical community and to see the rising interest of such professional communities in health-related technologies.

Related Publication: W. Jin, S. Ulaş, X. Tong, D. Gromala, C. Shaw, “Chronic Pain: Gaining Understanding and Empathy Through an Interactive System,” Canadian Pain Society (CPS) Annual Scientific Meeting, Vancouver, May 23–24, 2016.

DeepStreamVR Partners Present Pain Lab Work at Cannes

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The Cannes Film Festival has a category called “Cannes’ Health Lions.” Howard Rose — our industry partner with Ari Hollander at DeepStreamVR — presented our Virtual Meditative Walk as part of his talk Your Brain on VR: Virtual Worlds, Real Results” at noon on Sunday 19 June on the Health in Action Stage.

https://www.canneslions.com/whats_on/our_speakers/#all/

Nazemi attends Design Research in Health Care conference

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Mark Nazemi, Ph.D. candidate and researcher at the Pain Studies Lab presented at “Design Research in Health Care conference in Lucerne, Switzerland in January, 2016. Nazemi’s research is titled “Immersive Sound Techniques + VR for Pain Anxiety Management.” This research provides an alternative non-invasive approach using customized 3-D immersive audio recordings to manage pain and anxiety. This highly specific listening process creates a perceptual change of environment providing relief for the listener. His research also discusses how VR therapy is used for pain management and mindfulness training.

Mark Nazemi, “Immersive Sound Techniques + VR for Pain Management”, D-Health Conference. 2016. University of Lucerne, Switzerland.

Dimple Gupta serves on Pain BC Education Committee

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Pain Studies Lab researcher and BC registered social worker, Dimple Gupta, has been a member of the Pain BC Education Committee since Fall, 2014. The purpose and goal of this committee is to assist Pain BC to design and review continuing education programs to train inter-disciplinary health care professionals. The education programs and trainings are focused on bringing knowledge and skills to health care professionals on various chronic pain topics. The Pain BC Education Committee meets regularly under the chairpersonship of Frances Kirson, Education Engagement Director, Pain BC. Visit the Pain BC website to learn more about trainings offered: https://www.painbc.ca/health-care-providers

AS IF competes at CHI 2016 Student Game Competition as one of the Finalists Team

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AS IF competes at CHI 2016 Student Game Competition as one of the Finalists Team

Pain Lab Ph.D. students Xin Tong, Servet Ulas and Weina Jin demonstrated their empathy game AS IF in CHI 2016 Student Game Competition. As one of the finalists they earned a Certificate of Recognition and AS IF also drew a lot of attention from attendees at CHI during the 3-day game demo as well as the final presentation. The game, incorporated with patients embodied experience, puts players in the shoes of people with Chronic Pain to give them insight and have them experience what it may be like living even a single day with this long-lasting affliction.

The ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) series of academic conferences is considered to be the most prestigious in the field of human–computer interaction (HCI) and is one of the top ranked conferences in computer science. The Student Game Competition is a juried track at CHI. Each game was reviewed by both academic and professional experts in game design and development, with emphasis on expertise in the entry categories. The student competitions at CHI continue to grow each year with increased international representation. The competition always draws a large audience at CHI and has also become a major recruiting opportunity for identifying talented students.

Related Publication:
Jin, W., Ulas, S., and Tong, X. AS IF: A Game As an Empathy Tool for Experiencing the Activity Limitations of Chronic Pain Patients. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM (2016), 172–175.