The Travelers Companies has partnered with Samsung Electronics America, Cedars-Sinai, Bayer and AppliedVR to test therapeutic virtual reality (VR) and wearable technology for the treatment of acute orthopaedic injuries.
This digital kit will be trialled as a non-pharmacological supplement to manage pain caused due to injuries of the lower back and extremities. It will analyse day-to-day functional status, work productivity and pain medication use.
The 16-month project will be carried out by Cedars-Sinai’s Center for Outcomes Research and Education and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with 90-140 subjects aged 18-65 years who experienced workplace injuries.
Travelers National Pharmacy director Dr Melissa Burke said: “Workplace injuries that lead to chronic pain can cause ongoing issues, as an injured employee may mask pain with opioids or other drugs.
“Identifying new, non-pharmacologic alternatives for pain management can help an injured employee avoid chronic pain, lower the chances that they will develop a dangerous opioid addiction and reduce medical costs.”
The new project is based on previous findings by Samsung Electronics America, appliedVR and Cedars-Sinai that revealed the capability of VR to minimise pain in hospitalised patients, offering a non-pharmacologic alternative to opiates.
The pain-reduction kit to be tested in the project will include Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR and headset, Samsung GearFit2 wearable and therapeutic pain management content backed by appliedVR’s biosensors.
In addition, Bayer will supply AleveDirect Therapy transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) Device for lower back pain from sore and aching muscles associated with strain due to exercise and common household and work activities.