IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States. Cedars Sinai is offering a virtual reality (VR) based treatment course for patients to help practice evidence-based behavioral therapies. Cedars Sinai’s notable health tech physician, Brennan Spiegel (MD, MSHS), announced this offering on Twitter this week.
The virtual clinic helps patients experience the therapies from the comfort of their homes. Dr. Brennan also mentioned that a new clinical trial is expected to start soon in partnership with MayoClinic.
Many patients with IBS experience dyspepsia or recurring symptoms of an upset stomach without any obvious causes. Researchers from Mayo Clinic have already studied and found that Virtual reality-based tools can help with functional dyspepsia.
Dr. Brennan believes that digital health is not just a computer science or engineering science, but it is also a social and behavioral science.
Here the VR-based platform for IBS patients is designed to provide behavioral modifications to IBS patients in order to help them not only understand the connection between the mind and the gut but also provide the patients with VR-based tools that help them find comfort and relaxation.
There have been other tech-based approaches to deal with IBS symptoms for some time now. Nerva, is an IBS management app that has found many fans.
Nerva uses evidence-based hypnotherapy techniques, delivered via an app, to help you learn automatic skills that can help ‘fix’ the miscommunication between your gut and brain.
The program was designed by Dr. Simone Peters, and her approach worked just as well as the Low FODMAP diet in helping you live well with IBS.
The app not only offers daily audio relaxing sessions of 15 minutes a day but also provides other helpful and calming exercises that are supposed to help during flare-up time.
You can follow Dr. Brennan and read more about novel virtual reality-based health therapies that are in the pipeline from his exciting book ‘How Virtual Therapies will revolutionize Medicine’.