Virtual reality (VR) device developer AppliedVR and Kernel are highlighting the results of a study showing the impact of VR pain treatment on the brain.
The study included a single-blind, sham-controlled design and compared brain activation patterns and physiological metrics before, during, and after VR experiences in people experiencing chronic low back pain.
The research combined AppliedVR's RelieVRx medical device with Kernel Flow and FlowVR, a compact TD-fNIRS brain measurement headset customized for use in VR to measure brain hemodynamic changes tied to pain relief.
After an eight-week treatment regimen, researchers found that study participants in the RelieVRx group experienced enhanced brain activation coherence from pre- to post-treatment. Patients who received the VR sham control meanwhile showed a decline in brain coherence. Additionally, those receiving treatment from the RelieVRx device achieved a slower breathing rate.
AppliedVR and Kernel plan to conduct clinical studies to find out how RelieVRx as an intervention could drive certain physiological changes in breathing and brain patterns that have been linked to pain relief. This study is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two companies.