Winning VR, AR and gaming innovations will receive $ 20,000 each in seed grants and be piloted at Children's Hospital Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES– (BUSINESS WIRE) –The Innovation Studio at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) Digital Health Lab Demo Day, the culmination of a six-month venture to develop, incubate and implement virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mobile gaming solutions to improve care for pediatric patients and providers in the pediatric healthcare space. The five winners will receive $ 20,000 each in seed grants and the opportunity to pilot their innovations at CHLA.

The Digital Health Lab is the CHLA Innovation Studio, which focuses on transforming pediatric health care through mobile games, VR, AR and immersive digital experiences. The Digital Health Lab portfolio currently includes 16 teams, all of the common goal of enhancing digital therapy, improving clinical education and re-imagining the patient and provider experience.

He said Omkar Kulkarni, MPH, Chief Innovation Officer, "It has been a mentor to the teams and to support their unbridled enthusiasm as they have to enhance the lives of pediatric patients," said Omkar Kulkarni, MPH Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "We are eager to embark on the implementation phase, where we will pilot these innovations at CHLA and measure the real-world impact on our patients and their families."

The winning teams are as follows:

Manatee: Manatee is developing voice-enabled and artificial intelligence powered therapy that aims to provide cost-effective care at home for children who suffer from illnesses such as autism. This robot is being developed with the clinical expertise of several CHLA physicians. Manatee is also developing a therapy management platform to engage children, parents and providers of behavioral health care.

Playing Forward: The Playing Forward team is developing an immersive VR game-based entertainment intervention to improve motor skills in children. The game will feature characters that play Forward has developed, as well as popular characters licensed from well-known entertainment companies.

Pulse XR: Pulse XR is a VR application that uses MRI data to create a virtual view of a patient's heart. It would provide a tool for cardiac surgeons to prepare for educated other providers of the anatomy.

thousand: Thousand is a music-based game for kids that combines neurological music therapy techniques and cognitive gaming to develop a game that can remotely identify and train cognitive skills. The game would use computer vision and audio feedback for activities like singing and dancing.

CHLA Companion: CHLA Companion is an augmented reality and chat-enabled bot mobile application that will improve patient and parent / caregiver experience before, during and after surgical procedures. It would provide a companion character to help children and better health prepare for surgeries and potentially improve outcomes after surgeries. CHLA Companion is being developed with support from CHLA physicians, nurses and clinical experts.

This announcement comes six months after CHLA hosted its first ever Gamifying Pediatrics Hackathon, when physicians, nurses, engineers, developers, game designers, and AR / VR experts came together for one weekend to develop new digital tools that will help improve pediatric medicine. Over the course of 48 hours, Hackathon participants pitched 47 ideas and formed 22 teams, presenting rough prototypes to a judging panel of CHLA experts on the final day. Ten teams were selected as semi-finalists and advanced to the Incubator phase, where they joined CHLA's Digital Health Lab for free mentorship as they continued to build and refine their prototypes.

To learn more about the CHLA Innovation Studio and the Digital Health Lab, visit their website at

About Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Founded in 1901, Children's Hospital Los Angeles is ranked the top children's hospital in California and fifth in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious US News & World Report Honor Roll of children's hospitals. Clinical care is led by physicians who are faculty members of the Keck School of Medicine of USC through an affiliation dating from 1932. The hospital also leads the largest pediatric residency training program at a freestanding children's hospital of its kind in the western United States. The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles encompasses basic, translational and clinical research conducted at CHLA. To learn more, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, and visit our blog for families ( and our research blog (


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