Virtual medicine: how virtual reality is easing pain, calming nerves and improving health

Brennan MR Spiegel
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00540
Published online: 21 May 2018

Virtual reality is thought to create an immersive distraction that restricts the mind from processing pain

Not so far in the future, doctors might prescribe a virtual beach vacation to calm aches and pains, in lieu of pharmacotherapy. Insurance companies might offer scenic tours of Icelandic fjords to lower blood pressure, instead of doubling up on drugs. Psychiatrists might treat social phobia by inviting patients to a virtual dinner party. Hospitals may immerse children in a fantastical playland while they receive chemotherapy.

  • Brennan MR Spiegel

  • Cedars-Sinai Health Services, Los Angeles, CA, United States



Support for this work is provided by the Marc and Sheri Rapaport Fund for Digital Health Sciences and Precision Health.

Competing interests:

I have received a research grant, administered by Cedars-Sinai Health Services, from appliedVR (Los Angeles, CA). I have no equity, royalty, board positions or other relevant financial relationships to disclose with appliedVR or any other company with a product or service mentioned in this article.


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