The immersive digital therapeutics pioneer, AppliedVR, has partnered with the leader in non-invasive neuroimaging, Kernel, to evaluate the effect of AppliedVR’s FDA-authorized, VR-based program, RelieVRx, against a control VR program on the brains of patients with chronic pain. The study will be facilitated using Kernel FlowVR, a compact, affordable, TD-fNIRS brain measurement headset customized to evaluate brain biomarkers associated with RelieVRx.
RelieVRx is a prescription-use medical device that uses virtual reality content to facilitate a wide array of pain-management interventions, such as biopsychosocial pain education, cognitive behavioral therapy, diaphragmatic breath training, relaxation response training, mindfulness, and more. Kernel Flow will provide high-quality, objective data for brain-activity changes before, during, and after VR use.
The study will investigate the impact of AppliedVR software modules and the 8-week training program by measuring heart rate, respiration rate, and brain activity patterns for chronic pain patients through the Kernel Flow device. Twenty patients with chronic lower-back pain randomized into treatment and control groups will participate in the study and undergo a pre and post-intervention brain measurement protocol with Kernel Flow.
The two companies aim to evaluate quantifiable differences in measured brain activity for the RelieVRx group against the control group. They also intend to collect biodata to understand better how VR engages the brain.
“Kernel Flow allows for a safe, natural, and comfortable brain-imaging experience. Our partnership with AppliedVR is an exciting opportunity to use Kernel Flow’s revolutionary technology to illuminate and unlock insight on specific biomarkers related to chronic pain, one of the most debilitating and costly medical conditions in our healthcare system,” said Kernel CEO and Founder Bryan Johnson.
Such biomarker-based insights can also play a critical role in defining the effectiveness of treatments in the future while helping healthcare providers to customize them according to the needs of each individual.
“AppliedVR is committed to being the most evidence-based immersive therapeutics provider in the world, which means we are constantly looking for smarter, more in-depth ways to not only demonstrate that the RelieVRx system delivers durable pain relief but also to understand how it works on the brain,” said Josh Sackman, Co-founder and President of AppliedVR.
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