Nicklaus Children's Implements Smileyscope to Help Children Feel More at Ease During Needle Procedures

Published on: 06/21/2023

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital has implemented use of Australia- and Texas-based Smileyscope Holding Inc’s (Smileyscope™) state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) therapeutics to soothe children during needle procedures in the hospital’s Emergency Department. Nicklaus Children’s is among the first children’s hospitals in the nation and the first in South Florida to offer this child-friendly, immersive technology.  

“Needle procedures can be very stressful for children of all ages,” said Dr. David Seo, senior vice president and chief information and digital officer for Nicklaus Children’s Health System.  “The Smileyscope virtual reality tool supports our Emergency Department clinicians in providing the artful distraction that is so beneficial to children during such procedures. Families can request VR support to reduce their child’s discomfort and anxiety.”

Evelyn Chan, CEO of Smileyscope, said, "We are extremely pleased to partner with Nicklaus Children's Hospital to bring Smileyscope to South Florida. Nicklaus Children’s commitment to ensuring every child receives the best possible care and a comfortable experience is evident in their adoption of our device.”

One of the most requested VR experiences sought by children is the underwater adventure, which features waves washing over the injection site and a fish nibbling on the child’s arm during the injection. Clinical trials have shown this VR program can safely and effectively reduce pediatric needle pain by up to 60 percent and anxiety by 40 percent, allowing for a more comfortable and positive patient experience.

Giovanna Pedemonte of Miami brought her 7-year-old son, Silas, to the emergency department at Nicklaus Children’s with a high fever and an infection in his finger. “Silas typically gets anxious whenever he enters a clinical setting and asks whether he will be getting a shot or undergoing any pain,” said Pedemonte. “I was impressed to learn that Nicklaus Children’s offered the Smileyscope technology to distract him. He didn’t seem to notice the draining of the wound on his finger. He likes video games, and he enjoyed the technology so much that we will request Smileyscope whenever he visits the hospital,” she added.

To learn more about Smileyscope, visit

About Smileyscope

Smileyscope is a multi-award winning digital therapeutics company with proprietary technology that reframes medical procedures using choreographed virtual-reality (VR) experiences to help reduce patient pain and anxiety, and improve the overall patient experience. Smileyscope VR is the first regulatory body approved VR product for medical use and is clinically proven to reduce patient pain, anxiety and the need for restraints. The device is utilized by clinicians across a range of medical procedures such as vaccines, bloodwork, wound dressings, aesthetic inductions, nitrous oxide, and plaster cast applications/removals. Smileyscope VR has partnered with over 40 US hospitals to implement the VR technology.

About Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Where Children Matter Most ™ (2024)

Founded in 1950 as Variety Children's Hospital, Nicklaus Children's is South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with approximately 850 attending physicians, including more than 500 pediatric subspecialists. The 307-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine, with many specialty programs routinely ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since 2008. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and since 2003 has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession's most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, please visit

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