Wild Dolphin VR, a drug-free medicine!

Science proves that swimming with wild dolphins in Virtual Reality is a drug-free medicine without any side effects for both Humans and Dolphins!

Swimming with dolphins is on the ‘bucket list’ of many. And not without good reason. It’s an amazing experience. Looking into the eye of a dolphin or a whale is very personal and profound. Most people who have been lucky enough to experience such an encounter describe it as having a contact with what feels like a different but strangely familiar and benevolent, intelligence. It’s inspiring and leaves a joyous, peaceful feeling. This universal positive bond between dolphins and people has been accounted for over thousands of years. Legends and stories are abundant, ancient and of more recent date. The VR transports the viewer to be immersed in their serene ocean world. This proves to have a significant beneficial effect. The Dolphin Swim Club is happy to bring this enlighting experience as a Medical VR solution to patients worldwide!

Previous medical study on the effect of swimming with (real) wild dolphins with patients suffering from a depression has shown remarkable results. (British Medical Journal) However most so-called: Dolphin-assisted therapies are with dolphins in captivity. Today, we know so much more about the profound intelligence and social structures of dolphins and whales. Taking away their freedom is by many indications an undesirable practice, and leads to great suffering on the part of the cetaceans.

So we thought; Let’s make a great alternative! For the love of dolphins. For the love of people.                                   

Today we are in use in more than 150 hospitals and healthcare institutions worldwide. A new drug-free medicine without side-effects for patients or dolphins. Dolphins get to be wild and free. And if patients need fewer farmaceuticals, it means lower cost and a profit  for the environment.

Maybe virtual dolphins don’t just help us escape reality. They help us live in it.

The project started as an art project. The quality of the 360°VR content, we were lucky enough to film, is accordingly. We worked with one of the top-European specialists in 360°VR productions VIEMR.

Read below about some of the professionals in Medical VR that work with our Dolphins.

Medical VR

Dolphins & Autism

Prof. Albert Skip Rizzo
(University of Southern California)

In the beginning of 2016 the Dolphin Swim Club has agreed upon a partnership with professor Skip Rizzo. Professor Rizzo is the Director Medical Virtual Reality of the Institute for Creative Technologies and Research Professor of the Dept. of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. Yep, science, so lot’s of words, actually Skip Rizzo has developed amazing imaginative VR programs to help for example US veterans to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. He works with MedicalVR since 1995!  With the footage of the Dolphin Swim Club, Professor Rizzo will look into the field of 360°VR treatment of patients with autism.

Dolphin VR Serious Game

New Project! Please engage…

The Dolphin Swim Club is in the first stages of developing a serious game. The current 360VR movie will be made even more engaging by adding interactive elements. To a specific audience, like people with a short attention span due to psychological problems, the experience will become more compelling. Research from the UMCG (The University Medical Center Groningen) shows some patients enjoy a deep relaxation at first but get distracted by their obsessive thoughts after a while. Game elements, stimulating interaction with the audience, will keep them mentally ‘occupied’. Therefore these patients will enjoy the serene, healing dolphin world longer. As the brain can only process one stimulus at the time the Dolphin VR Serious Game has even bigger potential; research shows VR can be used as an alternative medicine for pain treatment. Let’s get on with it!

Are you as excited about this project as we are? We could use a little help with funding, (informal) investors or other partners. Please get in touch or donate through our gift shop.

Dolphins & Pain Relief

Dr. JoAnn Difede
(Weill Medical College of Cornell University)

In September 2016 we have presented the project of the Dolphin Swim Club at a conference in Los Angeles, about VR in pain management. We came in touch with Dr. JoAnn Difede from Weill Cornell Medicine and discussed the implementation of our content within a clinical research study. Dr. Difede, is a Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Medicine, an Attending Psychologist at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies (PATSS). She is internationally recognized for her pioneering work using virtual reality technology in the treatment of PTSD consequent to the WTC attack of September 11, 2001, and more recently in the treatment of combat-related PTSD. Dr. Difede currently uses our Dolphin footage during a study where people undergoing treatment for burning wounds.

Dolphins & Disabilities

Johan Elbers
‘s Heeren Loo | Healtcare Facility

Clients of Dutch healthcare facility ‘s Heeren Loo (10.ooo residents) can enjoy Virtual Reality in specially developed relaxation rooms. A study took place with a group of 55 mildly mental handicapped residents, suffering from very high-stress levels. 82% Showed and reported a considerable improvement after experiencing the Dolphin Swim Club VR on a regular base. One man no longer experienced the chronic pains he continuously had in his arm. A girl with autism almost didn’t sleep for 4 years, but now she swims-with-the-dolphins before bedtime and redeveloped a healthy sleep pattern.

‘s Heeren Loo is currently testing with the prototype VR goggles of the new developed Underwater VR of the Dolphin Swim Club. As a part of the regular swimming therapy by movement teachers. Swimming in (real) water while watching the (virtual) dolphins in their underwater world will enhance the VR experience, adding an extra layer to the immersion. The handicapped expertise center aims to provide underwater VR to all clients.

Dolphins & Quarantaine

Norwegian Cancer  Society

Thanks to the Norwegian Cancer Society cancer treatment for young Norwegians in need of a bone marrow transplant is a little less harsh. Post operative recovery entails isolation in a sterile tent for up to six weeks. Since late 2016 a set of VR Goggles and the 360°VR movie of the Dolphin Swim Club helps them to cope. Virtual wild dolphins don’t just help them to escape reality. They help them to live in it.

Dolphins and Anesthesia

Dr. Schneider  PsyD | Project Braveheart
(Stanford University)

In March 2017 doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford started a pilot study called ‘ Project Braveheart’ researching the effect of VR on anxiety- and stresslevels. 40 patients, youngsters in the age of 8 to 25, with congenital heart diseases take part. Using VR goggles patients can follow a tour guiding them along the exact path that will take place on the day of their procedure. Throughout the tour, patients can access relaxation programs like ‘Swimming with Wild Dolphins’ – the 360VRmovie of the Dolphin Swim Club.

Dolphins in Spanish Hospitals


Voluntechies, a non profit organisation based in Spain, is convinced we can improve people’s lives by using new technologies. Volunteers visit hospitalized children, disabled and elderly people, showing them the latest in Virtual Reality and other technologies. They take participants “outside” reality and let them discover the relaxing, healing environment of the wild dolphins swimming and playing along.

Applied VR & Psious

Healthcare Distributors

Both Applied VR as Psious are VR distribution platforms for the healthcare industry. Collaboration with these platforms makes our 360VR movie easily accessible for healthcare professionals. For those, interested in the use of VR, based in the Netherlands we have VR goggles available for rent. Please contact us for the details.

Dolphins and depression

Dr. Wim Veling
(Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen)

In January 2016 Prof. Wim Veling, psychiatrist of the University Medical Centre in Groningen has decided to start an medical study on the effect of 360° VR-swimming with Dolphins for patients with a depression, with our footage. This research started in April 2016 with a pilot and will last for 2 years.