Making VR Therapies More Accessible at the New Hoag Center / XR Lab in California

In a huge advancement for Virtual Reality Therapeutics, the Hoag Center for Advanced Visualization and Immersive Therapeutics recently opened its doors in Orange County, California, and Dr. Robert Louis, Chief of Neurosurgery, has kindly provided a comprehensive virtual “grand opening” tour of this state-of-the-art facility. The Center for Advanced Visualized and Immersive Therapeutics, or XR (Experiential Reality) Lab for short, is poised to vastly increase the accessibility of existing VR therapies for its patients in addition to researching and developing new treatments involving this new and evolving technology. The lab features three divisions aiming to further three distinct areas of Virtual Reality therapeutics by drawing from past, present, and future knowledge of VR/AR applications in healthcare.

The lab’s “Deploy” team will be drawing upon VR therapies whose efficacy is robustly supported in current scientific literature to provide the utmost quality of care to its patients. This team tackles conditions ranging from chronic pain to anxiety disorders and phobias through its Immersive Therapeutics Suite. The Experiential Theater promises to improve patient experience and outcomes in surgery by offering a simulated walkthrough of an invasive surgical procedure through VR. Dr. Louis emphasizes that this simulated experience is beneficial for patients and providers alike, as walking through a procedure with the patient can aid surgeons in their preparation and precision, while VR preoperative procedures have been shown to improve patient outcomes by reducing anxiety and increasing knowledge and preparation for surgery.

The XR lab also boasts Research and Development teams that are working to expand the boundaries of VR in healthcare as well as advance the therapies of today. Treatments for which more evidence is required before their employment in a clinical setting will be studied by researchers, while the Development team focuses on creating Virtual Reality solutions to medical conditions with currently unmet therapeutic needs in the Center’s Innovation Lab. This will aid the lab in developing more treatments like its innovative NurtureVR, which has greatly advanced maternal mental health during pregnancy and in the post-partum period through a 20-week VR program.

The opening of the XR Lab constitutes a huge advancement in bringing VR therapies to more patients who stand to benefit from their implementation and continued research. We are eager to see what new progress in the field of VR therapeutics will be made by Dr. Louis and the Hoag Center.