A VR app to reduce pain for sufferers of chronic neck and back pain
A virtual reality app aiming to reduce pain and improve movement in sufferers of chronic neck and back pain.
BACKGROUND Injuries happen to everyone at some stage. Unfortunately, these injuries can result in pain that persists beyond injury healing. Current treatments often have limited benefit for persistent pain, and fail to treat its main contributor - a sensitised brain. The result: a massive unmet need among the 1 in 5 Australians who suffer from chronic pain, and a national economic burden of $35 billion/year. Given the scale of suffering and economic strain, the need for brain-targeting methods is significant. TECHNOLOGY MoOVi is an award-winning virtual reality (VR) application that adopts and significantly enhances the functionality of mirror therapy for spinal therapy. MoOVi aims to improve movement and reduce back, neck and other spinal pain using a mirror therapy-like rehabilitation regime. Patients with chronic pain are presented with a VR environment where visual cues are presented to allow them to experience simulated movement beyond their capabilities, creating an illusion of pain-free movement. This illusion has been shown to shift the onset of pain through brain-based processes. The app uses smart phones to act as a VR display, making it readily accessible.
• Aims to target perceptual processes • Can be adapted for persistent pain in the neck and back • Easy to administer VR guided treatment regime • Easily accessible through a smart phone, allowing in home training routines • Affordable: MoOVi only requires an entry-level virtual reality headset to work with a smart phone
MoOVi is targeted at the pain market, particularly when movement is painful. It can be used by pain clinics, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists to assist with rehabilitation from injuries and ailments that lead to back, neck and other spinal pain. The application can also be adapted to other parts of the body. The premier industry analyst firm, Gartner have suggested that VR- based therapies have significant growth opportunities in the future.