A Substitute of Sedation that Makes Sense in Dollars

VR in Healthcare

There are many differences between general and local anesthesia, however, one of the most notable differences is the immediate recovery period. 

A patient that has been administered general anesthesia will generally have a longer recovery period than the one under local anesthesia. This statement is, however, not always true.

For some procedures where there’s no need for general anesthesia (for example
procedures done under regional nerve blocks) the patient might be administered
intravenous sedatives in order to reduce unexpected anxiety levels. 

This excessive sedation might lead to a longer recovery period than that of a general anesthesia. 

Virtual Reality Today

Virtual Reality (VR) might just be a substitute for any additional sedation for procedures where local anesthesia might be more than enough. A study done by the CUB Erasmus Hospital in Brussels, Belgium proved that 90% of patients that used VR while undergoing orthopedic surgery with local anesthesia declined the need for additional sedation (Papadopoulos, 2019).

By reducing the need for additional sedation during procedures, healthcare providers
can actually cut down their costs. A research done by the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University showed the amount of money saved for carpal tunnel surgeries that only administered local anesthesia. A total of $139 to $432 USD was saved for each case where only local anesthesia was used. Moreover, they discovered that a range between $1,320 to $1,613 USD was saved for the full episode of care including anesthesia costs, operating room time, and postanesthesia care unit time (Alter, 2018).



XRHealth’s FDA cleared and HIPAA compliant platform (VRHealth™) include 9
in-house-developed apps an a growing network of partner-developed apps that together provide a full suite of immersive environments that improve patients’ therapeutic experience.

The C.A.R.E Channel and Relax8™ are XRHealth apps that uses cognitive behavioral
therapy to engage the brain into supporting healing and self-management for pain relief. VRHealth is has been successfully deployed and used in several hospitals for a wide range of procedures. The added value of the platform is the external tablet control, which allows the clinician to communicate with the patient via text messages while keeping the patient fully immersed in the VR environment.

Additionally, XRHealth’s Data Portal generates real-time analytics of every completed
session to enable the healthcare provider to generate meaningful insights.

Contact us to get more information on how we can help reduce sedation levels, improve patient’s recovery and cut costs.


Alter, T.H., Warrender, W.J., Liss, F.E., Ilyas, A.M. 2018. A Cost Analysis of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery Performed Wide Awake versus under Sedation. Retrieved on July 2019, from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/30188472/

Papadopoulos, L. 2019.  VR Reduces the Need for Sedation During Surgery by Up to
90%, Finds Research.
 Retrieved on July 2019, form: 


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