January 27, 2020 – AppliedVR, a provider of of therapeutic virtual reality (VR), and S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech, a health equity accelerator embedded within the University of California San Francisco, have today announced a collaborative research project to identify barriers and facilitators to digital therapeutics, including VR treatment from AppliedVR, for vulnerable populations such as Medicaid patients. Underserved and diverse patient populations are unable to access health technology for various reasons, and the joint effort will help ensure no patient is left behind in the digital health revolution, according to the companies.
“The opportunity to work alongside AppliedVR in its quest to deliver virtual reality treatment to all patients helps fulfill our mission because of the sheer unmet need in the space of safe and effective pain management,” said Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, UCSF Professor of Medicine and co-founder of S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech. “The unique ability of virtual reality to create an immersive and interactive environment has the potential to be a cost-effective strategy to deliver pain management for diverse patients, in the time and place of their choosing.”
Under a Collaboration Agreement, S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech will conduct qualitative analyses by interviewing different healthcare practitioners on how to best integrate VR and novel digital health solutions into health systems that treat underserved populations. By identifying the barriers companies like AppliedVR can face when integrating novel treatment into health systems, the two organizations intend to improve health and reduce health expenditures for diverse populations.
“Patients who face socioeconomic or social determinant-related burdens and challenges should not be limited in treatment options – especially if or when in need of novel or non-pharmacological treatment alternatives,” said Matthew Stoudt, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of AppliedVR. “Through this collaboration with S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech and our commitment to pioneering VR as a new standard of care, AppliedVR aims to help move the needle towards health equity, reduce health care costs, and most importantly, improve health outcomes for patients.”
The study began in December 2019. S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech will advise AppliedVR on the design and approach for future prospective studies, which include variable collection around participant subgroups and implementation outcomes.
Image credit: AppliedVR