USING VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) TO MANAGE ANXIETY AND PAIN
By Paul Ndiho
The virtual reality industry is still in its infancy, with one-million headsets expected to be sold this year. But one company, Applied VR, says this cutting-edge technology could potentially offer patients a highly enjoyable escape from scary and painful experiences in healthcare.
You’ve probably never heard of Awah Teh, the Cameroonian tech-mogul, who has made a name for himself in Los Angeles for building cutting edge software and mobile applications that compete with some of the biggest names in the industry.
For example, one of the companies he worked for CinemaNow, a digital rights management (DRM) cashed big when it was sold to Rovi Entertainment Networks at 720 million dollars.
“That platform that we built basically, I think was what gave birth to a lot of the different platforms we have today. You know whether it’s Netflix, whether it’s Hulu, or to an extent some of the things that are happening with iTunes. They all use DRM today. And the valuation of cinema now went from this exciting startup with a potential solution to a problem to a seven hundred twenty million dollar company in the space of seven years.”
Once again Teh has created buzz in Los Angeles, he is one of the key players involved in innovative technology called Applied VR or Virtual Reality that is revolutionizing the way people interact with technology. He says that applied VR’s platform is intended to increase patient comfort and support providers in managing anxiety and pain in a clinical setting before, during and after procedures.
“What we’re doing there is we are creating virtual reality platforms for healthcare. We’re doing things like pain management. So ultimately the long term goal there is to be able to make pain reduction as an alternative to chemical control of pain reduction.”
He also says his company has conducted clinical research to demonstrate how their products may decrease patient anxiety, reduce pain, minimize the need for sedation, lessen the risk of drug complications and shorten postoperative stays.
“We’re the leader in that space right now? We’re in eight of the top ten hospitals in the United States. And news organizations are. So it’s a fancy way of saying: instead of taking pain medication, you can use virtual reality to manage some of your pain.” Reaching out to us to write articles. It excites me because in many ways we are changing the world.”
The tech executive has also developed several other internationally recognized web and mobile applications — including a global communication platform that allows people to communicate with each other through an interface similar to Facebook.
“The platforms called pen pals. That’s us. We own that trademark, and the pen pals platform is designed to allow people to reach out to folks that they’ve never met and spark new and exciting conversations with different cultures around the world.”
Tech analysts say that the concept of Pen Pals is not new, but what Awah Teh has created makes the world a little smaller and a lot friendlier for people from all walks of life.
As the tech mogul expands his business enterprise, he says his eyes are set on other innovative and cutting edge solutions, especially in the rapidly growing eMedical healthcare field.