Covid-19 has prompted a rapid implementation of new technological advancement into the traditional healthcare industry. Along with telemedicine, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, virtual reality (VR) has found its niche in healthcare.
According to GlobalData, the VR market, worth nearly $7bn in 2018, will be a $28bn industry by 2030, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% over that period.
AppliedVR, a US-based company, specialising in providing a virtual reality platform to improve patient experience, announced that its EaseVRx, which is used for treating chronic pain at home, has produced clinically meaningful improvement in multiple pain outcomes. The product was evaluated by conducting a pivotal randomised controlled trial (RCT), involving 179 individuals in the US who reported experiencing chronic low-back pain for at least six months.
The results of the study indicated that EaseVRx had high participant satisfactory engagement, and on average, participants reported substantial improvement post-treatment such as a reduction in pain intensity, activity, sleep, mood, and stress interference.
Furthermore, participants reported a high treatment-response rate compared to the control in pain reduction. Traditionally, patients with chronic pain problems have relied on pharmaceuticals, which is quite a costly solution. With the recent clinical trial being incredibly successful, AppliedVR might be able to provide a real drug-free alternative to patients for managing chronic pain.
Covid-19 has pushed the healthcare industry to adopt alternatives to traditional methods, and along with the increase in healthcare expenditure, we will observe the rise of the development of new therapies and diagnostics using VR. While the use of VR in healthcare is still in its early stages, VR’s usage in medical education, rehabilitation, treatment of chronic pain, neuropsychological conditions, and mental diseases can be implemented in the near future.