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The FDA has approved a VR system for chronic pain treatment

The system is called Ease VRx and comes from AppliedVR.

fda vr chronic pain headset
Image: AppliedVR

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just announced its approval for a prescription-based virtual reality system that can be used to treat chronic back pain. The system, called Ease VRx, uses a VR headset combined with a device used to assist in breathing exercises to treat pain on a cognitive level.

The FDA announced its approval for the Ease VRx system earlier this week. Christopher Loftus, acting director of the Office of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA, said that this 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.”

Ease VRx comes from the company AppliedVR. The company is also testing out its platform for a wider variety of uses, including fibromyalgia, burning pains, and more.

As for the platform’s recent FDA approval, that comes from the results of an eight-week study from JMIR Publications. The study involved 179 people with chronic lower back pain (chronic meaning lasting longer than six months in this case), equipped with Ease VRx’s platform.

READ MORE: South Korea will use VR to decide whether elders qualify for a driver’s license

Half of the people used Ease VRx for the eight-week period while the other half used another VR program that did not utilize cognitive behavioral therapy methods. The people that used Ease VRx reported much better results in terms of overall pain reduction as well as how long the pain reduction lasted after use.

It’s pretty interesting to see things like this making their way to the market. And with the FDA’s approval, it seems like there is a legitimate chance for something like this to take the place of more dangerous methods of treatment, like opioids, which cause so much further damage to people struggling with pain.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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