HIMSS: Healthcare is Turning to VR Solutions

HIMSS Media summarizes the impact VR is having with new forms of therapy and money saving solutions.

Therapeutic Uses

VR has proved itself of therapeutic value over the past decade, with a mounting body of evidence supporting the wider adoption of VR as a standard treatment for chronic pain and rehabilitation. In one recent study, patients reported a 60 to 70 percent pain reduction during treatment, with benefits lasting up to 48 hours post treatment.

Developers such as Firsthand Technology have created immersive experiences that incorporate biofeedback for patients experiencing pain that provide as much relief as, or even outperform, other treatments, including prescription opioids. These solutions “are helping patients through painful hospital procedures, improving recovery post-surgery, and helping chronic pain patients better manage their pain without drugs,” said Firsthand CEO Howard Rose.

Rose said VR environments activate sensory and perceptive systems, reducing both the physical experience of pain as well as the related stress, anxiety and depression that many patients suffer.

“Brain scan studies have shown that VR significantly reduces brain activity in areas associated with pain and increases positive activity in brain areas for cognition and resilience,” Rose said. “The finding that VR profoundly affects brain activity supports the potential for VR therapies that deliver lasting benefits for chronic conditions through brain plasticity and inducing neurological changes.”

Download: The New Era of VR in Healthcare