– AppliedVR announced a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate virtual reality (VR) as a solution to help address the underlying cancer-related anxiety.
– The proof-of-concept study will evaluate AppliedVR’s virtual reality system on neuro-oncology patients’ “scanxiety,” a term used to describe the anxiety patients with cancer experience before or after medical diagnostics scans.
AppliedVR, a Los Angeles, CA-based next-generation provider of digital medicines, today announced a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to evaluate virtual reality as a solution to help address the underlying anxiety often experienced by many patients with terminal cancer.
Proof of Concept Study Evaluating “Scanxiety” for Neuro-Oncology Patients
With anxiety being one of the most common psychological problems among cancer patients, extreme stress as a result of the initial cancer diagnosis can negatively result in a patient’s inability to function in their normal life. The study, which is being led by the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB), Center for Cancer Research (CCR), NCI, will enroll patients from many NCI-designated cancer centers and other cancer practices and evaluate AppliedVR’s virtual reality system on neuro-oncology patients’ “scanxiety,” a term used to describe the anxiety patients with cancer experience before or after medical diagnostics scans.
Academic Research Has Proven VR Effective
Virtual reality therapeutics have the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of people. If outcomes of the Phase 1 study are positive, AppliedVR and NCI will collaborate on a Phase 2, multi-site study to assess the use of AppliedVR’s virtual reality headsets to treat anxiety in a brain tumor patient population. Results of this study could further demonstrate VR as a promising modality for other serious health conditions, and specifically amplify the importance of virtual reality treatments for behavioral health conditions including anxiety.
As the most widely used and deeply researched therapeutic VR platform, AppliedVR is the first company to make VR therapeutics widely available in clinical care, having immersed more than 30,000 patients in VR in over 200 hospitals.
“Virtual reality therapeutics are an effective and non-pharmacologic way to potentially treat anxiety, acute and chronic pain and many other mental and behavioral health conditions,” said Dr. Beth Darnall, chief science advisor of AppliedVR. “Pairing our technology and deep expertise in therapeutic VR development and design with NCI’s leading expertise in oncology could offer a specialized solution to cancer patients who suffer from anxiety.”