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CNBC.com: Meta’s VR Technology Is Helping to Train Surgeons and Treat Patients, Though Costs Remain a Hurdle

CNBC.com recently interviewed Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai, about using virtual reality (VR) technology to train medical students and surgeons as well as to provide patients with pain relief and improve patient outcomes.

VR is one tool in a growing category known as “extended reality.” The technology has long been aimed at the video gaming industry, but it is becoming more common in healthcare settings. Physicians are using VR’s lifelike imagery to simulate medical procedures and surgeries, as well as to help patients manage their pain, anxiety, depression and other conditions.

Spiegel, the George and Dorothy Gourrich Chair in Digital Health Ethics, told CNBC.com that VR can help suppress pain signals in the brain.

“It’s very hard to keep track of pain when you’re in a fantastical cyberdelic world,” he told CNBC.com. “It’s training people how to modify their spotlight of attention so they can swing it away from the painful experiences. Not just the physical, but the emotional experiences.”

Spiegel told CNBC.com about a new VR platform that Cedars-Sinai will soon introduce to help patients manage gastrointestinal issues like Crohn’s disease as well as anxiety, addiction and perimenopausal health.

“This is not fringe science anymore,” Spiegel told CNBC.com. “This is now mainstream. There’s still a lot of work to do. It’s not like this is a done deal, cake’s not baked, but we’ve seen massive advances on many levels that make this a real science now.”

Click here to read the complete article from CNBC.com.