Soon Your Doctor Might Prescribe Virtual Reality Instead Of Painkillers

3064707-poster-1280-happy-place-appThe next time you have a headache, a Swedish pharmacy wants you to strap on a virtual reality headset and pretend you’re sitting next to a campfire by a lake in Sweden, watching the Northern Lights as night falls.

The pharmacy, Apotek Hjärtat, designed a free VR app for pain relief called Happy Place.

“Pain prevention is not just pharmaceuticals,” says Annika Svedberg, head pharmacist at Apotek Hjärtat. “There are alternative ways to treat pain, for example with exercise or massage. With Happy Place, we wanted to offer people the opportunity to try a completely new way to manage their pain.”

Several independent studies show that virtual reality can help the brain stop focusing on physical pain. One early VR game called SnowWorld helped burn victims reduce the amount of time they spent thinking about pain from 76% to 22%—even when the pain was severe. The VR equipment used in SnowWorldstudies costs tens of thousands of dollars. Now, mass-market headsets are making VR pain relief more accessible.

By Adele Peters | Fast Company

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About Peter Coffaro 1091 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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