Trinity College proves health benefits of Kilkenny product

A Trinity College study has found that a product developed by Kilkenny company, Vivartes, can have a positive effect on patients in long term care.

A Trinity College study has found that a product developed by Kilkenny company, Vivartes, can have a positive effect on patients in long term care.

The company employs two people full-time and one person part-time in Kilkenny City along with a number of commissioned artists to help make the product called ‘Open Window’.

A study by Trinity College on the effectiveness of ‘Open Window’ found that the product significantly reduces anxiety, depression and stress amongst patients in usually traumatic and isolated environments.

‘Open Window’ transmits video of artwork and other images along with positive messages from family members directly to a patient’s room using the internet and mobile networks. The product has been on trial in the National Stem Cell Transplant Unit at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, but is now available to be rolled out in hospitals, nursing home and other case settings nationwide following the publication of the results.

The Trinity College study was published in the Journal of Psycho-Oncology this month. Itis the first ever randomized controlled trial (RCT) which proves that art can have a positive influence on a patient’s care experience and on their health-related quality of life.

“We are delighted that the benefits for a patient’s health-related quality of life have been proven in such a prestigious study.This is the first product of its kind and will help those undergoing a variety of distressing experiences, such as the treatment of cancer, which can induce feelings such as powerlessness, sadness, depression and anxiety,” said the founder of the company, Denis Roche.

Mr Roche has already received €100,000 along with business mentoring as a winner of Diageo’s Arthur Guinness Fund in 2011. He hopes to expand the business next year and roll the ‘Open Window’ out across the country.

“Already we have installed ‘Open Window’ in a number of nursing homes in Ireland and we are currently in talks with the US Navy for a related application. Throughout 2012 we plan to expand the business and make ‘Open Window’ available for patients nationwide,” said Mr Roche.