Chariot Research

BERT: Bedside Entertainment and Relaxation Theatre

The project that started it all, BERT, is a video projection unit that is mounted onto a child’s gurney, thus following the patient into the operating room. The large screen size allows children to watch a comforting movie to distract them during what is perhaps the most stressful part of the preoperative procedure: the moment they are separated from parents and wheeled away. Additionally, using BERT as a non-medicinal anxiolytic reduces the amount of oral anxiety medications given to children. BERT has been shown to improve both patient and family satisfaction levels. While BERT has been primarily used to calm children before surgery, it has also been used in other areas of the hospital, such as for children about to receive radiation therapy or MRI. Recently, the use of the BERT project has even extended to hospitals as far as in Barcelona, Spain.

BERT Journal Article

Chariot Phantoms

The industry leader for vascular access ultrasound training models focuses on solutions for the adult patient market. We have designed the most advanced, accurate pediatric model, which more accurately reflects the smaller diameter and thinner lumen veins seen in pediatric patients. Additionally, this cost effective and high-fidelity model may be easily re-molded with a heating element to remove any needle artifacts that collect over time.  Physicians use this challenging practice model to increase the rate of first attempt success, ultimately reducing pediatric discomfort.


Spaceburgers is the first virtual reality game designed by the Stanford Chariot Program specifically for children in the hospital setting. In this game, patients get transported to outer space as they are immersed in relaxing music and zap space objects. Keep an eye out for crazy Spaceburgers that have somehow made their way into Earth’s orbit. This is the first game of its kind that allows a healthcare provider to adjust the cognitive load according to the patient’s needs. This way we can increase the amount of distraction during the most stressful parts of your child’s experience.

“Yum!” – Dr. Ban Tsui, Professor of Anesthesia, Stanford School of Medicine

“Wow, I can play Spaceburgers forever” – Dr. Grant McFadyen

Sevo the Dragon

Sevo the Dragon is a novel game integrating patient interaction while using the BERT system to aid with mask induction. Patients select a character from the three dragon options – red, blue, and green, each with a different hat. You can then choose from three food choices for the dragon to cook by breathing fire – birthday cake, tacos, and pizza. The perioperative team controls these choices through the mounted touchscreen projector.  Similar to our BERT setup, the game begins in the preoperative area and then travels to the OR without interruption. In the OR, the patient’s parent can aid and hold the anesthesia mask to the patient’s face, which allows for anesthesia induction. The dragon breathes fire which emulates the exhalation of the patient and is followed by deep inhalation of the anesthetic.

Johnny Vive

Patients and staff often experience stress and anxiety in the hospital environment. Our aim is to implement virtual reality to all sectors of the hospital. Using the room scale HTC Vive we are conducting a relaxation survey to assess the effectiveness of Virtual Reality. Experiences within the HTC Vive are catered towards relaxing the user and include Tilt Brush, Guided Mediation VR, and theBLU.

Chariot Summer Research Fellowship (CSRF)

The Chariot Summer Research Fellowship was formed to provide an opportunity for students interested in anesthesiology with clinical exposure and involvement in cutting-edge research. Students will spend time shadowing in the operating room, interacting with patients in research studies, as well as writing up their findings for submission to conferences. Some of our current projects involve the use of technology, such as virtual reality, video projection, or interactive video games, to address anxiety in hospitalized patients undergoing procedures and diagnostic studies.

Attentive mentors are readily available to help guide students in their journey through medicine, as well as push students to continuously challenge themselves. CSRF will be both a fun and highly rewarding experience. Additionally, fellows will have the opportunity to build collaborative relationships with each other, all while exploring what the beautiful campus of Stanford has to offer.

Bubbles the Blowfish

This playful interactive program is the sequel to Sevo the Dragon. You can’t bring bubbles into an operating room, so we’ve created silly virtual bubbles to distract kids while they’re being prepared for a procedure in the OR.

Lucy the Laser Unicorn

Coming Soon!

Oh No! Liam the Leprechaun is stealing the colors from the world to build his rainbow to find his lost pot of gold. Who can save the day? (hint… what’s better than a regular unicorn?)

Current Perception Threshold

Current perception threshold (CPT) can be measured using the Stimpod NMS450 (peripheral nerve stimulator). (1) By testing this value, it can potentially gauge the sensory perception of individuals when they are immersed in the HTC Vive. Verifying the CPT can give us statistical evidence of VR as a tool for distraction when dealing with vascular access. Ideally the HTC Vive can be implemented into patient use for distraction purposes or simply as a relaxation tool preoperatively.

Perception Threshold Article