Photo by Natsumi Aoyama
VR Health was awarded the Innovation Award first prize in the Patient Engagement Track at the 2019 MEDinISRAEL conference.
Tel Aviv-based VR Health is the first certified VR (Virtual Reality) medical company to develop FDA (Food and Drug Administration) / CE (Communauté Européenne) registered medical applications in the world. Its products focus on motor cognitive, physical, psychological rehabilitation, postural ability and pain assessment and treatment.
VR Health develops medical and therapeutic applications in virtual reality using XR (Mixed Reality) technology and provides immersive user experience and extensive data analysis for various user cases. Its platform enables to use AI cloud computing algorithms to provide real-time data analytics and insights to users and clinicians to group and analyze virtual objects and their work with the environment.
When a user puts on the VR headset, they are greeted by an AI trainer called Luna who guides users through CBT and other coping mechanisms. Re-Act, one of the VR applications, supports executive functions and memory spans and delivers personal health data using accurate measurements.
Photo by Natsumi Aoyama
VR and AR (Augmented Reality) technologies are already applied in various industries such as education and games, but the development of these fields in the medical and healthcare fields proves to be particularly promising.
According to Brennan Spiegel, M.D., director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, VR currently operates in four major areas of healthcare.
VR can promote calmness and relaxation. This technique mimics what other meditation behavioral therapy achieves with meditation. Spiegel said that using VR in this way would help patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and even phobia and other mental health problems.
VR can relieve pain. Spiegel and his team have tested VR for infection pain, back pain and severe abdominal pain. They saw a 24% decrease in pain 10 minutes after using a special, pain-specific application called Pain RelieVR. The programs created by AppliedVR and managed through Samsung Gear VR goggles, teaches patients how to cope with pain better through breathing techniques and positive thinking.
VR can adjust the patient's awareness of the body's signals. This technology can help patients who are suffering from chronic pain or those who struggle with weight control by weakening the signal.
VR can help patients better connect with reality. VR in healthcare can temporarily connect patients with dementia and hallucinations to reality. Spiegel uses VR to help patients with hallucinations to distinguish between hallucinations and reality.
Spiegel said “The purpose of using VR technology in medicine is to create a new kind of treatment environment for patients." In fact today, healthcare professionals are using the technology for patient care, from enabling doctors to explore congenital heart defects in 3D to dampening pain signals for patients suffering from burns or chronic conditions.
In an interview with Forbes, Eran Orr, founder and CEO of VR Health, also said “I truly believe VR will change healthcare and will be in every hospital and every rehab center in three years.” In fact, VR Health has a partnership with Oculus, a virtual reality headset company, and it tries to deliver its solutions via Oculus Go and Rift. Virtual reality isn't just for games anymore and demand for VR x medical care will increase more and more.