that have headaches, nasea, vomiting, seizures, trauma to the face...These patients cannot use VR without adverse effects,” Tashjian said.
AppliedVR's Sackman elaborated, saying that since VR is such a subjective experience, patients are going to need a sort of “VR pharmacy,” wherein they can download experiences that most appeal to them.
“Any form of media is not one size fits all,” Sackman told the audience. “What you need is a collection of experiences that have been tested for a clinical audience, because you have different ages, interests, and medical conditions.” Branding itself as a “Netflix for validated therapeutic content,” AppliedVR already offers 25 unique patient experiences.
Sackman said the number of experiences will only continue to grow and improve as more and more patients go through VR and researchers are able to incorporate biometric data like EEG and heart rate as well as demographic information on VR patients to better cater experiences to individuals.
“VR can work well and there's places it doesn't work. Which allows us to focus on areas with more potential,” Sackman said. “As we get more feedback from different use cases we get insights into what patients want and need.” AppliedVR's hope is to eventually move beyond acute pain and anxiety into chronic pain, diabetes, hypertension, and substance abuse treatment. “VR has higher engagement and can provide greater accessibility and more rention because it's more fun,” he said.
Use cases are already emerging. In December 2016 a women in New York became what is believed to be the first patient to use VR for pain management during childbirth . “If VR can help manage the pain and anxiety of childbirth there are a lot of other areas where VR can play a role,” Sackman said.
Chris Wiltz is the Managing Editor of Design News.