Every year about 650,000 people will undergo chemotherapy, reports the CDC. This staggering fact shows the necessity for alternative methods of treatment for symptoms and side effects relating to medical issues that stem from chemotherapy like menopause, hot flashes, anxiety, and insomnia. VRHealth has created a Virtual Reality and AI therapist named Luna, to help ease physical and emotional side effects from medical treatments.
Meet Luna, the AI and VR Therapist
Using an Oculus Rift or Oculus Go, VRHealth’s AI therapist, Luna, is helping patients learn to manage their hot flashes and side effects from chemotherapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The FDA Registered Medical Device (under Section 510(k) Class II) uses VR technology to help strengthen patients emotional and physical coping skills.
Experiencing hot flashes isn’t just for menopausal women, patients going through chemo experience them too; with many also being male. Using evidence-based psychological methods like CBT helps VRHealth’s users with menopause and symptoms like “hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, migraines, insomnia, loss of sexual drive”, says their release.
Luna helps patients learn to breathe and also view their breath as they experience calming nature scenes. Their plan is to introduce the application in a medical setting and then use it at home for further practice and maintenance.
Medical and Therapeutic Uses for VR
Therapeutic VR treatments have recently been used to get rid of a fear of heights and to help kids and teens with depression. It’s also found legitimate use teaching students how to recognize concussion symptoms and has also been used to train surgeons with virtual simulations. It’s even been used in doctors offices and hospitals to reduce fear and pain in patients!
VR now has another medical and mental health approach that has potentially “outperformed medications for hot flash treatment”, suggests Eran Orr, CEO of VRHealth in an article with MobiHealthNews. If their “yet-to-be-released clinical trials” uncover that this is true, this further serves as more evidence that VR can help alleviate physical and emotional side effects of medical procedures.
The company’s main goal is to “provide a therapy-based virtual reality experience in all areas of healthcare,” VRHealth CEO Eran Orr said in a statement. “A variety of conditions can cause hot flashes such as menopause and various cancer conditions, incorporating the AI-therapist into our solution will provide relief, both at home and in a medical facility, to those experiencing them.”
Therapists that use VRHealth’s Luna application with the Oculus Go headset will get instant and uninterrupted access to a patient’s experience inside the virtual training using a tablet and Remote Patient Control. The analytic data it tracks helps doctors, therapists, and medical staff tailor the experience based on individual needs.
Where to Find VRHealth Next
If you want to see VRHealth in action for their official reveal of Luna, they’ll be in Las Vegas for CES 2019. CES is a technology expo that goes from January 8 to 11, 2019.