Alfred Lab VR Lets Us Experience Disease First-Hand

VR is being used to make caregivers and medical professionals become more effective in their work, by showing them how their patients are afflicted, through virtual reality.

Embodied Labs, a company started by medical illustrator and health educator Carrie Shaw, created the experience “Alfred Lab” to show how someone afflicted with advanced macular degeneration and high-frequency hearing loss faces difficulty in even the most normal situation, such as a birthday party as presented within the experience.

Alfred Lab1

The experience puts the viewer into the shoes of a 74 year old man named Alfred who is celebrating, as well as he could, his own birthday party. The experience also shows Alfred visiting a doctor who asks him to perform a few tests – which he does with obvious difficulty.

Erin Washington, Shaw’s sister, puts in: “We wanted people to experience that frustration and isolation. We wanted people to experience what it feels like to have someone speak for them.”  So in a way, this is a tool for generating empathy as well as a means of showing medical personnel methods of treatment.


VR as applied to the medical profession has been in existence for some time already, but if Alfred Lab is any indication, there’s lots more to discover in applying the technology. This is a great example of how VR has more to offer than simple games and entertainment.

Original story from

For more information, visit Embodied Labs here.

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