March 7, 2023 – Rocket VR Health (RVH), a virtual reality (VR) digital therapeutics company transforming mental health treatments with interactive mindfulness meditations and evidence-based digital therapeutics, has announced that it has initiated a randomized control trial with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
The 80-patient trial will examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of RVH’s VR digital therapeutic solution in improving quality of life, symptom burden, psychological distress and self-efficacy in adult patients with blood cancers admitted for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) at MGH.
According to RVH, patients undergoing this type of treatment experience immense physical and psychological symptoms during a prolonged four-week hospitalization and endure significant short-term and long-term distress that affects their quality of life and their physical and psychological well-being.
The comprehensive 4-week therapeutic intervention from RVH combines interactive therapeutic experiences, high-definition doctor holograms (pictured above) and meditations that take place at nature-based locations. Therapeutic content is delivered on the Pico Neo 3 standalone VR headset, which is powered by Qualcomm’s XR2 processor and has over 2.5 hours of battery life. The headsets weigh only 1.3 pounds and have an ergonomic design while leveraging gaze-based controls, removing the need for physical controllers.
RVH stated that digital health interventions that support patients in reducing distress and improving psychosocial well-being are lacking. As a result, the company partnered with MGH in early 2021 to co-develop a VR solution. The therapeutic recovery program leverages lessons learned from evidence-based palliative care interventions for patients undergoing HCT that were studied for years by the MGH team.
MGH is Harvard Medical School’s largest teaching hospital. The Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program (CORE) at MGH conducts innovative research and educational programs to improve the experience and outcomes of patients and caregivers across the continuum of cancer care.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Rocket VR Health on this innovative project that has the potential to change the paradigm of supportive care delivery for hospitalized patients with cancer. The capacity to use VR to improve the physical and psychological wellbeing of patients with cancer enduring prolonged hospitalization can increase access and potential for scalability and dissemination of this supportive care platform,” commented Dr. Areej El-Jawahri, Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School and the Director of Digital Health at the Mass General Cancer Center.
Also commenting on the collaboration was Rocket VR Health co-founder and CEO, Sid Desai, who said: “Up until now, VR technology has been expensive, bulky, and difficult to use and operationalize within a healthcare environment. Today, we can deliver therapeutic VR interventions on lightweight, affordable and ergonomic headsets with therapeutic experiences that are more engaging than what has been possible in the past. This study will guide us towards validating the efficacy of our digital therapeutic in our effort to build the go-to distress management solution for hospitalized patients.”
For more information on Rocket VR Health and its virtual reality digital therapeutic solutions for healthcare, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: Rocket VR Health
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.