Using cognitive behavioral therapy, the FDA approved VR headset is on track to ease chronic pain
There has been some breakthrough news that the FDA approved VR device“EaseVRx”, a virtual reality headset, uses techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to aid with chronic pain and pain reduction in adults. There are about 50 million adults in the United States who currently live with chronic pain, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
In a clinical study reported by the Federal Drug Administration, it showed that 66 percent of those who used EaseVRx logged a pain reduction of more than 30 percent, compared to the 41 percent of those who did not use the device. The study that took EaseVRx users consisted of a treatment program that lasted 56 sessions throughout an 8-week period.
Approximately 46 percent of those who utilized the FDA approved VR device reported a pain decrease of more than 50 percent. Beth Darnall, PhD, the director of the Stanford Pain Relief Innovations Lab in California and the chief science adviser and co-creator of the EaseVRx said, “It’s really exciting. It is a breakthrough device, it’s also a breakthrough in terms of how we’re conceptualizing pain and pain treatment,” Darnall said.
CBT is a psychological treatment that can be used to enhance daily function and quality of life in a number of situations. By helping the user change ways of thinking, CBT can develop effective ways to ease chronic pain, both physically and emotionally. According to Darnall, the FDA approved VR device is one of several therapeutic options for chronic pain sufferers. Physical therapy, exercise, yoga, and acupuncture are some other alternative choices.
EaseVRx is manufactured by AppliedVR, a Los Angeles based digital therapeutics company. Via the De Novo premarket review pathway, a regulatory pathway for new types of low-to moderate risk devices, the EaseVRx was examined by the FDA. With this approval, the FDA is setting special regulations in place for these devices, including labeling and performance testing requirements.