VR Is Shockingly Good at Relieving Cancer Patients’ Pain – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

VR Is Shockingly Good at Relieving Cancer Patients’ Pain

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty

Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s best efforts, virtual reality has yet to really take off. But that doesn’t mean that VR isn’t useful. The technology has the potential to transform the way we treat mental health, fall in love, and even cope with death. As VR becomes more sophisticated and commonplace, we’ll begin to see more ways that it’s capable of improving our everyday lives—especially those of the most vulnerable among us.

That’s what researchers in the U.K. discovered in a comprehensive review published Monday in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care that found that immersive VR was able to help ease pain and anxiety in cancer patients. The technology also seems to have alleviating effects on patients with other debilitating, long-term issues such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, and kidney diseases—while offering a way of reducing the need for pharmaceuticals like opiates.

“VR offers a potential alternative to pharmaceutical interventions for managing pain and anxiety related to medical conditions,” lead author Martin Dempster, a professor at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, told The Daily Beast in an email. “We are not suggesting that VR should completely replace pharmaceuticals but that it could perhaps reduce the need for these drugs, thereby avoiding problems arising from the interactions between different drugs.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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