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Hello to the Attune Health community,
I hope you are well and enjoying the holiday season.
For my final Doctor’s Note of 2017, I want to share with you some exciting news that comes from two of my passions: virtual reality and medicine.
I have been invited to speak at the first virtual reality in medicine conference. The conference, hosted by VirtualMedicine.health, will be held in March 2018 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center right here in Los Angeles.
The goal is for technology innovators to come together with the medical community to discuss, test and learn the best practices of virtual reality in medicine.
Doctors have increasingly begun using virtual reality as a pain management treatment for everything from severe burns to PTSD in soldiers. Here at Attune Health, we’ve piloted a virtual reality pain management program in which a patient with multiple sclerosis was given the chance to experience several calming and freeing VR exercises to relieve the overwhelming stress, debilitating leg pain and hand tremor cause by her autoimmune disease.
After only a few minutes of using virtual reality to experience flying over Iceland and swimming with dolphins, the patient was observed to be more relaxed with fewer complaints of pain.
We’ve been working closely with Dr. Brennan Spiegel, director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai Health System, and the company appliedVR, on how to implement virtual reality as a regular part of our practice.
Both Dr. Spiegel and appliedVR CEO Matthew Stoudt will be joining me as speakers at the conference.
This is such an exciting time to be in medicine. Leading VR medical experts are hopeful that virtual reality can be used to treat severe social anxiety by putting the user in a virtual dinner party. Or perhaps one day soon, insurance companies will cover a virtual reality visit to a refreshingly beautiful location to bring down blood pressure, instead of another bottle of pills. The possibilities truly seem to be infinite.
I’m very much looking forward to furthering my knowledge and also bringing to my colleagues the importance of virtual reality in pain management of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
Wishing you a healthy and joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year.
Dr. R. Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR