Virtual Worlds, Real Results

Effective VR Solutions for Health and Wellness

Virtual Reality offers effective solutions to improve wellness and control cost. Firsthand creates smart virtual environments powered with biosensors that transform people from health consumers to health producers.

Firsthand provides innovative VR therapies and patient solutions, and consulting services to develop your VR products and bring them successfully to market.

 As seen in a study with pancreatic cancer patients at Providence Cancer Center, patients who used COOL! and GLOW! reported 30% less pain, used 20% less opioids, and the hospital tracked a significant reduction in patient costs [1].

A study testing COOL! with chronic pain patients reported a mean of 60% less pain during the VR sessions, with a total reduction of 33% less pain after the VR session compared to the pre-session baseline [2]. 

Firsthand has shown the benefits of VR analgesia in many settings and recognizes that healthcare is ready for a quantum leap to propel VR pain relief as a mainstream therapy. The need for VR analgesia is particularly pressing today, as doctors search for safe and effective non-opioid alternatives to manage pain. We are excited by the potential for Pear to bring the benefits of Fisthand’s VR experiences to much wider use.

Firsthand continues to build on the success of COOL! and GLOW! to create the next generation of digital health products. Howard Rose, Firsthand CEO, says: “Innovation is in our DNA. VR is a game-changer that can make wellness more targeted and personalized for patients, and gives doctors a powerful new tool to transform the practice of physical and mental health. We remain dedicated to creating new digital solutions that help us all be healthier, smarter and happier.”

Read studies at: VR Pain Research Bibliography or visit our Blog.

About the Applications:

COOL! Easy to use and simple to learn, COOL! is ideal for patients feeling the pain and anxiety of medical procedures or the burden of chronic conditions. Patients will leave their pain behind as they embark on a journey through jewel-crusted caves and crystalline streams. Feeding rainbow trout to a giant otter reveals its dazzling inner beauty. Surprises lurk around every corner as patients leave their pain behind. 

COOL! is a direct descendant from years of development and study with the groundbreaking VR analgesia application, SnowWorld (copyright, University of Washington).

Video of COOL!

GLOW!: biofeedback GLOW! transports you to a world of play with magic and light. Underneath the hood, GLOW! is using heart rate and biofeedback to help reduce pain and stress, as patients practice mindfulness and self-control. Instead of just pressing buttons, the exploration and wonder of GLOW! is explored via the player’s own hands gathering fireflies in the evening moonlight or coaxing a lantern up from the depths of a silent pool. GLOW! provides a restful, enjoyable place where patients will want to return, or a relaxing memory to carry them through the challenges of the rest of their day.

Video of GLOW!


  1.  Intel Corporation (2018). VR Pain Relief: Response to the Opioid Crisis with Dr. Shorin Nemeth.
  2. Jones, T., Moore, T., & Choo, J. (2016). The Impact of Virtual Reality on Chronic Pain. PloS one, 11(12), e0167523. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167523

VR Fights the Opioid Crisis

Case Study: Providence Cancer Center

A clinical study tested Firsthand’s VR pain relief software with pancreatic cancer patients in post-surgery recovery at Providence Cancer Center in Portland, Oregon. The outcomes showed significant improvements over Providence’s historic standard-of-care:

  • 30% less Pain
  • 20% less Opioids
  • Significantly lower care costs

Read the Case Study


Howard Rose
CEO, Design Director

Ari Hollander
CTO, VR Guru

Richard Sparks
Head of Global Business Strategy

Kristine Rogers
VP of Business Development

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