SONIFI Health and Shaftesbury VR to offer drug-free pain and stress relief options with Positive Distraction Entertainment System (PDES)

SONIFI Health December 6th, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA (Dec 6, 2017)  — SONIFI Health is pleased to announce its partnership with Shaftesbury, through its VR division, bringing specialized therapeutic virtual reality and augmented reality products to the healthcare industry.

Shaftesbury VR is a division of Toronto-based Shaftesbury, a leading content company with 30 years of experience in television, film, and digital production. Working with university and hospital research partners, Shaftesbury VR is developing its content through extensive testing in specialized medical context to meet clinical goals.

The proprietary Positive Distraction Entertainment System (PDES) is a suite of experiences and games that promote better patient outcomes by reducing stress and pain without medication. This unique game engine dynamically adapts the experience to the individual user with the goal of creating a sense of flow, calm, and focused engagement. The intuitive clinician interface allows a high degree of control based on patient response data, and can be adapted for special requirements such as sound or light sensitivity.

SONIFI Health integrates this advanced therapy solution, including VR head mounted displays, into its interactive patient engagement system and with hospital EMRs; in a fully integrated system, it will be simple for physicians to order distraction therapy as part of stress and pain management.

“Particularly now, the healthcare industry is looking for safe, drug-free choices to help manage pain and stress,” said Bob Sullivan, General Manager, SONIFI Health. “SONIFI Health is thrilled to work with Shaftesbury VR to bring this clinically-tested experience to our clients and ultimately to patients seeking comfort.”

“We are proud and excited to take Shaftesbury’s renowned entertainment pedigree into the VR marketplace with a niche focus on the growing health and wellness industry,” said Jay Bennett, SVP Creative & Innovation, Shaftesbury. “We see a range of opportunities to connect with new audiences, in new ways, through the power of storytelling. We are thrilled to be working with SONIFI Health to explore the promising future of VR and the life-changing difference we can make at the intersection of entertainment and healthcare.”

Shaftesbury VR currently offers 12 titles including:

  • Enchanted Forest: built for kids of all ages and designed to capture attention & induce calm
  • Bubble Bloom: an under the sea experience where users can blow bubbles at passing fish, creating a deep sense of flow
  • Aurora: users control the lights of the Aurora Borealis while collecting fireflies
  • Morning Devotion: this peaceful setting with spiritual content includes scripture reading
  • Zen Garden: place of health, harmony and the balance of nature
  • HD Video Experiences: instructions for guided breathing and meditation


Future product offerings underway involve a virtual reality experience for children with autism spectrum disorder, created in conjunction with researchers at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s autism research centre. Additionally, Shaftesbury VR is working on augmented reality experiences for mobile phones and tablets as well as enhanced data analytics. For more about Shaftesbury VR, please visit

About SONIFI Health
SONIFI Health delivers interactive technology proven to improve patient experience, health outcomes and hospital productivity. The system is delivered across multiple technology platforms including mobile devices, computers and televisions at the bedside and in the home to improve patient and family experience while increasing hospital operational efficiencies. For more information, visit

About Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, digital, and brands. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 11 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment, detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, and two seasons of critically acclaimed thriller series Slasher for Netflix. Shaftesbury’s digital arm produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the global phenomenon Carmilla, mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, supernatural drama Inhuman Condition, and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. Shaftesbury’s branded entertainment division drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers. Recent brand partners include Walmart, Interac, U by Kotex®, and RBC.

View press release on PR Newswire.

Leave a Reply