March 11, 2020 – AppliedVR, a provider of therapeutic virtual reality (VR), has today announced its commitment to supporting U.S. Veterans through a partnership with VHA Innovation Ecosystem, a division of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Together, the partners will explore various use cases for cutting edge VR programs within the VA system.
The Bruce Carter Miami VA Medical Center will be first to pilot the company’s hardware and immersive VR care program, called RiseVR, to comfort Veterans in hospice (palliative care) and help improve the quality of life of Veterans experiencing general chronic pain, stress and anxiety in a variety of healthcare settings. Following completion of the pilot, AppliedVR anticipates additional VA medical centers to adopt the program.
“Chronic pain is common among the approximately 9 million Veterans treated at the VA today, with medication generally being the most common treatment for both acute and chronic pain,” said Matthew Stoudt, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of AppliedVR. “Our hope through this partnership is to offer Veterans drug-free, non-invasive options that have a long-lasting impact on their quality of life.”
The partnership will also explore various use cases for VR technology within the VA. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, more than 1.7 million Veterans received treatment in a VA mental health specialty program in 2018. RiseVR will also serve as a stress and anxiety management tool for Veterans, in addition to being a non-invasive, evidence-based, and drug-free care system for Veterans experiencing pain. The VR modules provide a temporary escape from physical reality to Veterans facing uncomfortable healthcare challenges and help to furthermore demonstrate the potential VR has to become an important, effective alternative for care.
“We have used VR in our pain clinic and patients overall have expressed feeling more relaxed and less discomfort during the procedure,” said Dr. Esther Benedetti de Marrero, Chief of the Miami VA Healthcare System’s Pain Medicine Service. “In fact, vital signs during the procedures have been incredibly stable, with one patient in particular telling me that it was simply amazing to have used it. For those who have been willing to try it, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Image credit: AppliedVR