Seeking medical care can be a daunting experience for anyone, but especially for members of the transgender community. Bias and lack of understanding from medical professionals can lead to inadequate care and further marginalization. That’s why our team has been working to create an all-new virtual reality experience that will be unveiled at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and World Congress of Cardiology (WCC) Annual Meeting in New Orleans on March 3-5. This new experience offers a perspective on what it’s like to visit a cardiologist’s office as a transgender patient. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details of this innovative VR experience, exploring how it was designed and the impact it could have on healthcare for the transgender community.
Our Chief Equity Officer Dr. Aubrey Grant has a unique perspective on the issue of implicit bias in healthcare thanks to his years of experience working in the healthcare industry. He worked with our resident virtual reality innovator and Chief Technology Officer Leslie Alvarado to create a script that felt authentic to the experience of a trans individual that we named “Tracy”. When asked about the issue that inspired this VR experience, Grant said, “Health disparities are such a nuanced and intricate problem, and bias is a big part of the conversation surrounding them. I think that the work we’ve done is a beautiful way of bringing people into this situation as a transgender individual to face the biases working against them.”
Our Chief Technology Officer Leslie Alvarado also worked hard to make this VR experience a reality. She emphasized the importance of creating an authentic experience throughout the development process. “We’re really big on understanding perspectives, so we reached out to a consultant to have them make sure the script was true to the transgender experience”. Equity Commons also hired a transgender voice actor to put life into the character and the script. When creating the VR animations, Alvarado ensured that every movement reflected the right emotions so that the user could understand and feel the stress that “Tracy” is under. “We wanted to make sure that we’re not overselling it, but rather guiding people through to understand the health disparities transgender people face,” Alvarado said.
If you want to experience this VR creation for yourself, find Equity Commons at the Health Equity Hub March 3-5. We hope to generate a greater understanding of the experiences of transgender patients and the importance of empathy and sensitivity in medical settings.