Partnership for VR Therapeutic Trial

Rocket VR Health initiated a trial with MGH to examine the feasibility & efficacy of its VR therapy.

Patient using a Rocket VR Health Virtual Reality mental health intervention. This next-generation immersive mental health technology makes users active participants in their healing, and has built-in social features and leverages the true power of virtual reality. (Image credit: PRNewswire photo)

Rocket VR Health ("RVH"), a Virtual Reality digital therapeutics company transforming mental health treatments with interactive mindfulness meditations and evidence-based digital therapeutics, announced it has initiated a randomized control trial with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

The 80-patient trial is examining the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of RVH's Virtual Reality digital therapeutic in improving quality of life, symptom burden, psychological distress, and self-efficacy in adult patients with blood cancers admitted for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) at MGH. Patients undergoing this type of treatment experience immense physical and psychological symptoms during a prolonged four-week hospitalization and endure significant short-term and long-term distress that affects their quality of life (QOL) and their physical and psychological well-being, according to a press release.

MGH is Harvard Medical School's largest teaching hospital. The Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program (CORE) at MGH conducts innovative research and educational programs to improve the experience and outcomes of patients and caregivers across the continuum of cancer care. Dr. Areej El-Jawahri Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Director of Digital Health at the Mass General Cancer Center and Dr. Hermioni L. Amonoo Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Associate Program Director, Psychiatry at Brigham, and Women's Hospital will serve as co-investigators for the study.

"We are pleased to collaborate with Rocket VR Health on this innovative project that has the potential to change the paradigm of supportive care delivery for hospitalized patients with cancer. The capacity to use VR to improve the physical and psychological well-being of patients with cancer enduring prolonged hospitalization can increase access and potential for scalability and dissemination of this supportive care platform," commented Dr. El-Jawari.

Read more: New Partnership to Realize a Modern Pharmacy

Digital Health Interventions that support patients in reducing distress and improving psychosocial well-being are lacking and RVH and MGH partnered in early 2021 to co-develop this first-of-its-kind evidence-based VR solution. The therapeutic recovery program leverages lessons learned from evidence-based palliative care interventions for patients undergoing HCT that were studied for years by the MGH team. The comprehensive 4-week therapeutic intervention combines interactive therapeutic experiences, high-definition doctor holograms, and meditations taking place at breathtaking nature-based locations.

Therapeutic content is delivered on standalone Pico Neo 3 headsets that use a Qualcomm XR2 processor for next-generation performance and have over 2.5 hours of battery life. The headsets weigh only 1.3 pounds and have an ergonomic design while leveraging gaze-based controls removing the need for physical controllers.

"Up until now, VR technology has been expensive, bulky, difficult to use, and operationalize within a healthcare environment. Today, we can deliver therapeutic VR interventions on lightweight, affordable, and ergonomic headsets with therapeutic experiences that are more engaging than what has been possible in the past. This study will guide us towards validating the efficacy of our digital therapeutic in our effort to build the go-to distress management solution for hospitalized patients."  commented Rocket VR Health's co-founder and CEO Sid Desai.

About Rocket VR Health

Rocket VR Health is a digital therapeutics provider that offers Virtual Reality therapeutic experiences and programs that help people improve their mental health and well-being. They are transforming the mental health treatment landscape by offering the next generation of digital therapeutics by leveraging proven clinical programs and ultra-realistic 3D environments, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) games, and VR-enhanced meditations. By creating partnerships with leading research institutions and leveraging evidence-based treatment protocols they aim to provide engaging, effective, and personalized digital health interventions that can leave a lasting impact on people's mental health and well-being.

About Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The Mass General Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with annual research operations of more than $1 billion and comprises more than 9,500 researchers working across more than 30 institutes, centers, and departments. In July 2022, Mass General was named #8 in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals." MGH is a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system.

Sam Draper
May 9, 2023

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