The approximately 50 million adults in the U.S. living with chronic pain may be "seeing" a bright future soon, thanks to a new wearable device. The EaseVRx, a virtual reality headset that has earned a breakthrough device designation from the FDA, incorporates techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy in its quest to reduce pain in adults.
The EaseVRx guides users through a 56-session, daily treatment program over the course of 8 weeks. According to the FDA, a clinical study of this device showed that 66% of its users experienced a 30% or higher reduction in pain. Moreover, 46% of users reported pain reduction levels of over 50%.
Lora L. Black, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Kansas Health System, believes that the device has a promising future, especially as a boon for treatment access. She said, “A device like this may help to reduce access barriers many patients experience when trying to find psychologists trained in pain-focused psychotherapy. Such a device may also serve as a helpful supplement to those already engaged in psychological treatment for chronic pain.”
VR devices are another worthwhile addition to the chronic pain-treatment portfolio. Popular existing options for sufferers seeking relief include acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy, and general exercise. Though medications are often prescribed and used, they have not proven particularly useful for long-term pain management.