The mysteries of the brain do not easily become solved. That is what many manufacturers of virtual reality devices and medical and care providers are finding out as they test virtual reality (VR) for seniors in communities for the aged around the country.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Osso VR as the winner in the EdSim Challenge, which called for virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities to submit concepts for immersive simulations that will prepare students for a globally competitive workforce and spur an ecosystem of virtual and augmented reality technology in education.
Five finalists were selected out of 249 submissions. Each finalist received $50,000 in cash as well as in-kind prizes from Oculus and Samsung, and refined their submissions during the Virtual Accelerator phase. Finalists presented playable prototypes to the judges at Demo Day on September 18, 2017, where a live audience joined the Challenge judges at the Department Of Education to see the five finalists compete for the $430,000 grand prize. The winner was recommended by a panel of judges with expertise in education, gaming, workforce development, emerging technology, and venture capital.
Osso VR is a hands-on surgical training platform that enables users to practice cutting-edge techniques through realistic, hands-on simulations, bridging the gap between career exploration and career preparation. They won $430,000 in cash and additional in-kind prizes from IBM and Microsoft.
Learn more about each of the five finalists’ simulations here.
Learn more about Osso VR at the 2017 MedTech Impact Expo & Conference in Las Vegas, December 14-15, where Justin Barad, Founder & CEO of Osso VR and editor of medgadget.com will moderate a panel session, New Realities in Medicine – Exploring the Virtual and Augmented Horizon. Other speakers in the session include Arshya Vahabzadeh, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Brainpower, Matthew Stoudt, CEO of AppliedVR, Carrie Shaw, CEO of Embodied Labs, and Osamah Choudhry, CEO at MediVis. LEARN MORE.
Virtual Reality (VR) has been increasingly used to manage pain, trauma, and distress–particularly during painful medical procedures–as investigators hypothesize that VR acts as a nonpharmacologic form of analgesia by exerting “an array of emotional affective, emotion-based cognitive and attentional processes on the body’s intricate pain modulation system.” While originally recognized for its entertainment value, the application has expanded to a number of clinical areas.
A study conducted by Cedars-Sinai using virtual reality therapy, during which participants wore virtual reality goggles to watch calming video content, indicated that VR may be an effective tool in addition to traditional pain management protocols. Moreover, VR gives doctors more options than solely medication or pharmaceuticals.
More recent research tested real world dental procedures, using circumstances that included a cold pressor lab setup and virtual reality headsets. The participants were immersed in two differing environments: a calm beachside walk, and a busy urban situation that was rife with distractions. The calming scene was significantly more effective in terms of improving the ways participants experience and remember pain, during tooth extractions and fillings.
While the data is not unpredictable, the study points to the fact that it is important to discern what types of virtual reality environments are effective in alleviating pain. Perhaps more importantly, future variations may include certain virtual situations that are better at reducing pain in other procedures.