VRHealth, AARP launch VR platform for remote patient monitoring, in-home therapy

The app-based offerings support real-time data collection and sharing between patients, their caregivers and their providers.
By Dave Muoio
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VRHealth, a tech company focused on virtual reality products for various healthcare implementations, has launched a new set of apps that look to better facilitate remote monitoring and family caregiving.

Developed in collaboration with AARP’s Innovation Lab and announced at CES 2019, the app-based platform employs in-home VR for a range of different use cases and capabilities, according to the companies. These app include challenges designed to stimulate the brain’s executive functions, memory and cognitive skills; neck exercises; and pain management. VRHealth unveiled one of these included apps — a cognitive behavioral therapy program for hot flashes that includes an AI trainer called Luna — to MobiHealthNews last month.

Notably, the platform supports real-time healthcare data collection, and includes a process in which patients may elect to share that data with their healthcare provider for more immediate feedback or adjustment.

The VR apps are now available for download on the Oculus storefront, as well as through the “Health and Wellness” section of AARP’s Alcove VR platform.

What’s the impact

VRHealth’s apps offer consumers another means for in-home care, which is often a cheaper and substantially more comfortable arrangement for older family members or others in need of assistance. While the immersive factor can help some patients better engage with exercises or therapies, including telehealth-like data transfer option opens the door for more reliable and effective remote monitoring.

“Our telehealth platform is a crucial step in the healthcare process because it enables patients to engage in a healthcare routine in the comfort of their own home while providing access to their data directly to their doctors,” VRHealth CEO Eran Orr said in a statement. “Any adjustments that need to be made to a patient healthcare regime can be adjusted based on the data in the platform.”

What’s the trend

Just a few months ago, VRHealth announced a partnership with Oculus that would bring healthcare-focused applications like those launched this week to the latter’s consumer-grade VR hardware. These and others were being planned for the full-size Oculus Rift headset, as well as the company’s scaled down and portable Oculus Go device.

VRHealth has deployed its products to a number of hospitals and sports medicine centers, and has previously discussed how its partnership with AARP could help seniors receive therapist-guided physical therapy without needing to leave their home.

Beyond VRHealth, a number of tech companies, hospitals, and healthcare systems have joined efforts to investigate the efficacy of VR-based pain management. Other researchers are also looking to the ways clinical VR can move beyond distraction therapy.

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