Virtual Medicine: Lessons Learned Using VR in Clinical Practice
Not so far in the future, in lieu of popping a pill, clinicians might prescribe a virtual beach vacation to ease aches and pains. Cardiologists might offer scenic tours of Icelandic fjords to lower blood pressure, instead of doubling up on drugs. Hospitals might immerse children in fantastical play lands while they receive chemotherapy or undergo frightening medical tests. It’s all starting to happen now because of virtual reality (VR). For decades, scientists in elite universities have been quietly discovering the surprising health benefits of VR for ailments ranging from burn injuries, to stroke, to acute stress. Over 3000 studies reveal that VR has an uncanny ability to block pain, calm nerves and boost mental health without drugs and their unwanted side effects. But the technology has been too expensive, unreliable and unwieldy for the research to translate beyond the pages of academic journals and doctoral dissertations… until now. Explosive advances in delivering low-cost, portable and high-quality VR to the masses has spawned a field called Medical VR. In this lecture, Dr. Spiegel will describe frontline stories of using VR in over 3000 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and will review his lab’s latest clinical research, including a recent randomized controlled trial testing VR in the hospital setting. The lecture will also review their new research using VR for blood pressure management, opioid reduction, and pediatrics at Cedars-Sinai.
- • Discuss the new science of immersive therapeutics
- • Explore how VR is being used in pediatrics and beyond
- • Evaluate clinical data using VR for pain and discomfort
Dr. Brennan Spiegal
Dr. Brennan Spiegel is the Director of Health Services Research for Cedars-Sinai Health System and Director of the Cedars-Sinai Master’s Degree Program in Health Delivery Science. Dr. Spiegel directs a multidisciplinary team that investigates how digital health technologies, including wearable biosensors, smartphone applications, virtual reality, and social media, can improve people’s lives. His team developed the largest and most widely-documented medical virtual reality program in the world at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Spiegel has published numerous best-selling medical textbooks, editorials, and more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is listed in the "Top 100 Influencer" lists for digital health and virtual reality. His digital health research has been featured by major media outlets, including Bloomberg, CBS News, Forbes, Huffington Post, LA Times, NBC News, Reuters, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. His virtual reality research won the 2017 “Webby Award” for best technology on the internet. His research team receives funding from the NIH, PCORI, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Hearst Foundation, Veterans Administration, State of California precision medicine program, and industry sources. Dr. Spiegel is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology – the leading clinical gastroenterology journal in North America.