Using Virtual Reality to Reduce Sedation

Virtual Reality can help cut down $2,000 in CTS Procedural Costs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour and Statistics, each year more than eight million people are affected by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and 230,000 affected actually go into surgery.

CTS surgery is a relatively simple and quick procedure that lasts approximately 28 minutes of total operative time. In spite of being a straightforward procedure, patients might need to stay for several hours recovering from the intravenous sedation, not just increasing the chance for the patient to experience side-effects from it, but also driving the hospital costs because of the longer time of the patient’s stay.

Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology that has been drawing a lot of attention from the medical community as an effective distraction tool for the patient because of its ability to create immersive scenarios.

A study conducted by the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain
Medicine at Stanford University was able to prove that VR is an effective
nanopharmaceutical substitute to IV sedation (Pandya et al., 2017).


The financial benefits to healthcare providers are evident as less sedation during a procedure decreases the patient’s length of stay, which in turn decreases the need to allocate additional productive resources in the post-operative stage of a procedure. 

A study conducted by the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in New Jersey showed that hospitals can cut down costs up to $2,000 per procedure thatdoesn’t include IV sedation (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 enhance patients’ experience.

C.A.R.E VR 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.
By implementing VRHealth Platform into CTS surgery, the healthcare provider can
reduce their costs and time spent per patient, while achieving a double digit ROI from
the first year of usage, which can be as high as 60x.

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:

Pandya, P.G., Kim, T.E., Howard, S.K., Stary, E. (et al.). 2017. Virtual reality distraction decreases routine intravenous sedation and procedure-related pain during preoperative adductor canal catheter insertion: a retrospective study. Retrieved on July 2019, form:

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Education: Doctor of Physical Therapy from University of Michigan-Flint

Years in Practice: 10

Education: Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from Grand Valley State University

Years in Practice: 14

Education: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Michigan University 

Years in Practice: 19