Dr. Diane Gromala was invited to give a talk at Virtual Medicine 2019, a medicine and immersive virtual reality (VR) conference at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
In her talk, “How VR Cures by Enabling Self-Awareness,” Dr. Gromala discussed her approach to developing, testing and deploying VR technology for chronic pain patients. A pioneer in Virtual Reality (VR) for long-term pain, Dr. Gromala’s approach is the result of technological innovation, user-centered design, and scientific evidence-based research she has conducted with thousands of patients since 1991.
Members of the Pain Studies Lab — Dr. Chris Shaw, Bhairavi Warke (Ph.D. student) and Ruoyu Li (M.Sc. student) — also participated in the conference. They demonstrated LumaPath, one of the lab’s scientifically-validated immersive VR systems for reducing chronic pain through exercise. The team both develops the VR technology and designs the ‘content’ of what patients see, hear and interact with.
Currently, the team is investigating the longitudinal effects of VR used at home by chronic pain patients. As VR has been termed a non-pharmacological “analgesic,” the team is also investigating what the best “VR dosage” is — that is, what the best duration in VR is for the ideal analgesic effect.
Dr. Gromala discussing Mental Health Applications of VR at Virtual Medicine 2019 with Dr. Les Posen, Dr. Skip Rizzo, Noah Robinson & Dr. Jessica Stone.
Bhairavi Warke and Ruoyu Li conducting VR demos.