Health Watch: Hi-tech helps ER patients along with women trying not to get pregnant.

Patients at Santa Clara Medical Center in California are using an innovative way to help them tolerate medical procedures – virtual reality goggles. Thanks to a grant, the medical center uses goggles in four departments to take patients on an underwater adventure.

“The virtual reality goggles are very helpful to assist in, kind of, providing a comfortable atmosphere for the patients so that they can tolerate their procedures better," said Dr. Joel Levis, the ER Chief of the center.

In other news, for the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing of a mobile app that claims to prevent pregnancy – “Natural Cycles.”

According to the app’s website, it’s 93 percent effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies, by tracking a user’s menstrual cycles and gauging her body temperature.

Finally, more good news for vaccine safety. A giant study of roughly 82,000 children found no link between the pre-natal Tdap vaccine and autism. The vaccine is often given to expecting mothers during their third trimester, to fight off tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Kaiser Permanente looked at the records of those children, all of whom have mothers in the company’s health care system, and actually found from the raw data that autism rates were slightly higher in the unvaccinated group, although no meaningful difference was found either way once other differences between the two groups were taken into account.