AppliedVR Becomes the First Virtual Reality Pain Management Platform to Get FDA Approval

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

AppliedVR Becomes the First Virtual Reality Pain Management Platform to Get FDA Approval

For the first time, a virtual reality device received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to address pain.

Los Angeles-based therapeutic virtual reality startup AppliedVR's device to ease chronic lower back pain gained FDA approval this week.


The move opens the door to making VR a common solution for lower back pain, one of the most common chronic pain conditions in the U.S. that is also linked to deteriorating mental health and lack of productivity at work. Doctors can now use the technology to wean patients off high levels of opioids and insurance companies can subsidize the VR treatment, making it more accessible to low-income patients and broadening adoption of new technologies.

"You have to think about who pays for it. By going the FDA prescription route, that gives us a pathway to get this embedded into the rail systems of reimbursement in America," AppliedVR co-founder Matthew Stoudt said prior to the news.

The company's product, EaseVRx, follows a principle that has been studied for a long time: that pain is often less about the physical sensation and more often around the mental association of pain to stress, anxiety and isolation.

"Pain reduction is a crucial component of living with chronic lower back pain," said Christopher M. Loftus, acting director of the Office of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

"[The] authorization offers a treatment option for pain reduction that does not include opioid pain medications when used alongside other treatment methods for chronic lower back pain."

Using cognitive behavioral therapy and virtual reality, the offering takes patients with chronic lower back pain through an eight-week-long course comprising a series of modules that help them better cope with the never-ending (yet often debilitating) pain of chronic conditions.

"If they don't have access to a specialist or they don't have access to these integrated settings, you can actually bring these integrated settings to the home," Stoudt said.

Earlier this month, AppliedVR raised $36 million to push EaseVRx through the FDA pipeline, as well as create new VR offerings for a variety of pain and mental health indications. It was the first company to receive an FDA Breakthrough Device Designation as a VR treatment therapeutic for treatment-resistant fibromyalgia and chronic intractable lower back pain.

https://twitter.com/KeerthiVedantam
keerthi@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

Motional Links With Uber to Make Robotaxis a Reality

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Motional
Image courtesy of Motional

Motional, a self-driving taxi startup backed by Hyundai, will partner with Uber to bring its robotic taxis to cities throughout the United States within the next decade as part of its push to get people more comfortable with the concept of taking a ride in a driverless electric vehicle.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending