The funding will also support further development of the technology and new staff hires.

Karuna Labs' $3M seed round will support clinical validation of its VR chronic pain programs

By Dave Muoio
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Virtual reality pain management company Karuna Labs has raised $3 million in seed funding, the San Francisco startup announced last week. The funding was led by Baseline Ventures, with additional participation from Anorak Ventures, the AET Fund, the Hustle Fund, Correlation Ventures and Dreamit Ventures.

WHAT THEY DO

The company develops personalized VR programs for chronic pain management. The tool uses a technique known as “virtual embodiment training” to help users disassociate body motions with pain. These treatments include modules for upper limb, lower limb, cervical and lumbar spine pain, while the hardware itself is available in packages for use at home or in the clinic.

“We’re establishing a new first line of defense against chronic pain and remain focused on the lives we’re able to change through our technology while reducing the need for invasive procedures and opioid dependence,” Lincoln Nguyen, CEO of Karuna Labs, said in a statement.

WHAT IT’S FOR

Karuna said that this funding will both support clinical validation studies of its VR product, and help the company further develop its technology and staff.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Pain management has been a go-to implementation of VR among providers for some time, and most recently was the focus of a major Cedars Sinai study focused on inpatients' pain. Data such as these have led to a handful of deals between manufacturers, developers and health providers.

But VR has also been tapped for a wealth of other use cases outside of pain management, including surgeon trainingpatient educationanxiety management and much more.

ON THE RECORD

“Karuna Labs is using immersive virtual reality technology to tackle the critical and debilitating health issue of chronic pain, without the need for opioid pain relief or the need for costly invasive surgeries,” Steve Anderson, founder of Baseline Ventures, said in a statement. “We're proud of this innovative team comprised of medical and technology professionals who’ve come together to expand the reach and impact on the neurorehabilitation industry."