Cedars Sinai launches virtual reality pilots to curb patient pain without drugs

Hospital executive describes the virtual reality experience as 'dreaming with your eyes open.'
By Bernie Monegain
10:56 AM

Cedars Sinai Medical Center will begin to use virtual reality technology from Applied VR, in hopes of easing patients' pain with without use of drugs. Hospital executives say it will introduce VR content first in its Spine Center.

Cedars-Sinai is among the first hospitals to employ scalable VR technology. It invested in AppliedVR via its TechStars healthcare accelerator. AppliedVR’s developed its main products in partnership with Cedars-Sinai.

The first product suite, Pain RelieVR, offers immersive VR games that divert the patient's focus away from the procedure or recovery process.

As an example, Guided Relaxation, which was developed with psychologists and leading academics, is used to help transport a patient from the medical environment to a peaceful scenic place, to relax and learn mindfulness and acceptance-based techniques. It is designed to help the patient manage stress and anxiety.

"VR is entering an 'age of utilization' in healthcare, with hospitals and surgery centers seeking new ways to increase patient satisfaction, better manage pain, and reduce hospital stays, Matthew Stoudt, AppliedVR, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

[Also: Cedars-Sinai deploys HomeHero's Apple CareKit app for care transitions]

"AppliedVR is an extremely valuable option for healthcare providers seeking to enhance the patient experience and positively impact patient outcomes," Richard B. Jacobs, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Cedars-Sinai, added.

Brennan M. Spiegel, MD, director of Health Services Research in Academic Affairs and Clinical Transformation at Cedars-Sinai, describes virtual reality as similar to "dreaming with your eyes open." It helps patients reduce pain without medications or drugs.

AppliedVR has begun a limited roll out of the technology in the Orthopaedic Center with the remaining areas scheduled to come onboard next month.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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