Irish company to transform the lives of people with Chronic Pain

Mar 4, 2024

 Irish company to transform the lives of people with Chronic Pain through Virtual Reality

Press Release – Dublin 4th March 2024

vStream, an Irish immersive technology company, has launched a campaign to sign up 10,000 patients to its Virtual Reality platform, ShineVR.

ShineVR, is a Virtual Reality Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) platform designed to deliver programmes in Stress Reduction, Wellbeing and Chronic Pain and will feature on the RTÉ TV show, Big Life Fix, to be broadcast on 6th March, showcasing the life changing benefits of VR for patients with Chronic Pain. The Enterprise Ireland supported company is keeping patients voices at the heart of what they are building, working closely with patient advocacy groups.

Airing this week, ‘Big Life Fix’ will showcase ShineVR’s technology and how it can be used in the treatment of Chronic Pain. The show focuses on the creation of a tailored virtual reality solution for Theresa O’Rourke, a 72-year-old Chronic Pain patient and member of Chronic Pain Ireland. The solution has been designed and built on vStream’s Virtual Reality platform, ShineVR, in conjunction with a team of experts which includes Dr Rosemary Keane, Principal Specialist Clinical Psychologist for Pain Management at Mater Misercordiae University Hospital.

Andrew Jenkinson, Co-Founder, vStream said of the application: “What we created for Theresa was a form of relaxation and distraction. The ability to provide an escape for her using elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was the first step we wanted to take in proving the effectiveness of VR as a digital therapeutic. The results were astounding, with Theresa reporting no perception of pain during the VR experience, and an average 33% reduction in pain perception over the course of a year of usage. It has helped her sleep and significantly improved her quality of life. But this is just the beginning. We are now raising investment to build a scientifically validated CBT course for Chronic Pain, which will provide long lasting effects to patients”.

Niall O’Driscoll, Co-Founder, vStream continued: “We need patients to be at the heart of what we do. We need them to help us build it. We need them to help us make it work. We need them to convince the healthcare community that this is worth investing in. Chronic pain is one of the costliest health problems in the world. It affects 20% of the world’s population, and in Ireland that number is significantly higher. We’re using the TV show to get our message out there and get patients signing up to become part of our development and testing.”

Dr Rosemary Keane, resident in the Mater Hospital and clinical advisor to vStream spoke of the potential of this innovative approach: “The team in vStream has a vision to create a powerful intervention by digitising evidence-based approaches like CBT, which we know work, and delivering them on a unique and potentially very effective platform. I have been part of this journey to date, and I’m excited to see the solution progressing into something we can offer patients at scale. The need is there, we have huge demand on our health systems. A solution like ShineVR can and will have a real and much needed impact”.

vStream is currently on a funding round for the platform and is actively recruiting pain specialists and patients with Chronic Pain and associated conditions to take part in the co-creation and validation of ShineVR. Interested parties can apply through the websites below.

The company is supported by Enterprise Ireland and is working with The Centre for Pain Research in NUI Galway and Chronic Pain Ireland along with its team of advisors, health insurers and health systems in Ireland and the UK to build and scale the platform.

CPI Chair Martina Phelan states “Chronic Pain Ireland is excited about the potential of vStream’s ShineVR platform to transform the lives of those living with chronic pain. This initiative represents a significant leap forward in harnessing the power of immersive technology for health and wellness, particularly in a field as challenging as pain management. The innovative use of Virtual Reality (VR) offers a promising non-pharmacological alternative that could revolutionize how we support those living with chronic pain. The direct involvement of patients in the development and validation of ShineVR is particularly encouraging. It ensures that the solutions created are genuinely attuned to the needs and experiences of those they aim to serve. We look forward to the possibilities that ShineVR brings to our community and the broader impact it may have on chronic pain management globally. It is initiatives like these that can truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve, offering new avenues for relief, coping mechanisms and improving overall quality of life

RTÉ’s Big Life Fix airs on Wednesdays at 9.35pm.

More information can be found at www.shine-vr.com and www.vstream.ie

For information about the work of Chronic Pain Ireland and our support services visit www.chronicpain.ie

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT CHRONIC PAIN IRELAND (CPI) & Chronic Pain Ireland

Chronic Pain Ireland (CPI) is the national charity providing information, education and support services to people living with Chronic Pain, their families, friends, caregivers and other interested parties. CPI advocates on their behalf and works closely with all stakeholders while providing a range of supports, including self-management workshops, telephone support line, monthly e-newsletter, patient and public involvement (PPI) research partnerships, member meetings and public awareness events.

CPI receives core funding via the Scheme to Support National Organisations, which is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development. CPI gratefully acknowledges SSNO funding and the ongoing support of Pobal and the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Programme and Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO) 2022-2025.

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