IKONA creates immersive content and mixed reality applications designed to transform the patient experience and train the next generation of healthcare providers. Working at the intersection of storytelling, healthcare and technology, IKONA collaborates closely with medical institutions to identify their needs, and implements research-backed solutions that have been clinically proven to decrease patient stress and increase patient satisfaction.
In 2015, neurosurgeons Kimon Bekelis, MD and George Kakoulides, MD initiated a groundbreaking experiment to explore the effects of virtual reality therapy on surgical patients.
Working at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Drs Bekelis and Kakoulides created a VR experience designed to alleviate the anxieties of patients awaiting surgery. This VR experience was then used in a study of more than 100 individuals and the results were staggering. Patients who used VR in the lead up to their procedures were the clear winners; they went into their surgeries feeling less stress, and emerged feeling far more satisfied.
Drs Bekelis’ and Kakoulides’ findings were published in the Annals of Surgery. Riding a wave of momentum, and in collaboration with world-renowned hospitality expert Dimitris “Dimi” Leivadas, the trio quickly brought in Tim Fitzpatrick of BMO Capital Markets, who co-founded the company and accepted the chance to serve as IKONA’s CEO. For Tim Fitzpatrick, IKONA’s mission is personal: he is a Navy veteran who sustained injuries while flying that led him to spend a great deal of time recovering in hospitals—and even more time researching how cutting-edge technologies can be harnessed to improve patient experiences.
Since its founding, IKONA has maintained a laser-focus on technological advancements. Working closely with Chief VR/AR Strategist Kel O’Neill, an Emmy-nominated immersive filmmaker who led the Economist’s forays into VR, IKONA is now creating a library of immersive content tailored to meet the needs of medical institutions of all sizes. To build out their collection of AR apps and VR experiences, IKONA has enlisted a roster of creators that includes an Oculus VR For Good Fellow, a Lovie- and Digiday-Award winning creative technologist, and an expanding roster of graphic designers, developers and producers who have taken leading roles in projects for such clients as the Wall Street Journal, PBS and Within.