Better Than Opioids?
The uses of VR for managing pain are incredible and fascinating. Personally, I do not have chronic pain unless I do something unusual like sitting on a bench without a back for awhile. Then my neck does hurt. However, the pain goes away in a day or so. This is nothing compared to what others experience I assume. I would really like to try VR and eventually develop some apps. I ordered my first headset today that works with iPhone and was very cheap: $25. I also just registered this domain today.
Startups like AppliedVR are working with hospitals such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to work on solutions for managing pain using VR applications. In the past VR used as part of an intensive pain relief study used to cost $35,000.
Now things are getting cheaper and some companies are even giving away headsets for free.
One game that AppliedVR is working on is called Bear Blast, in which the player moves his head to throw balls at cartoon bears.
“The game, which I tried out in my office, is pretty simple and seems purposely mesmerizing: you constantly move forward at a slow pace through a virtual world filled with bears and lob balls at as many of them as possible to earn points. Unlike most games, you can’t get hurt or die.”
“Brennan Spiegel, who directs health services research at Cedars-Sinai, says researchers found that 20 minutes with the virtual-reality software reduced patients’ pain by 24 percent on average; before using VR the patients had a mean pain score of roughly 5.5 on a zero to 10 scale, he says, and afterward it averaged 4.”