Zachary Rosenthal, PhD, discusses in Forbes Magazine how the "decreasing cost of hardware/software, and move to value-based pay and population health" creates opportunity for investment in VR.”
For several decades, virtual reality (VR) has been trumpeted as a promising and novel way to deliver behavioral interventions to patients with psychiatric disorders. Using VR, for example, patients could potentially learn to overcome phobias, regulate emotions, or distract from pain-- all without necessarily doing so within the constraints and conventions of usual psychotherapy. Research testing VR-based treatments generally has yielded encouraging results, with published studies commonly finding that such approaches are safe, feasible, acceptable, and with no differences in outcomes compared to existing behavioral interventions. Yet VR-based treatments for problems with mental health have not become mainstream. Why? A primary problem has been the prohibitively high cost of hardware and software. Another problem has been the lack of incentives for providers and health care systems to adopt this new technology.
In the Forbes articles, former Senator Frist highlights how these barriers are in the process of being whittled away. What lies ahead may be opportunity on a large scale for innovations in health care using VR not only for behavioral health, but for all healthcare in the U.S. With the cost of hardware rapidly reducing, and the national shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-value based health care, Senator Frist projects VR can be used to provide care delivery platforms that decrease the cost of care and improve outcomes, all while engaging the patient is his or her treatment in a customer friendly way.Read More