VR Neuropathic Pain Tool
Working independently for a partnership research project between Mount Sinai Hospital and Burke Medical Research Institute, this tool was created to help treat neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury. The tool was designed based on existing research indicating that a patient in VR observing their virtual avatar performing actions that they can no longer physically do can alleviate neuropathic pain. This research hints at the possibility of this form of therapy to treat pain even after the patient has left the VR environment, and possibly eliminate it altogether. Currently, the tool is undergoing clinical trials to verify effectiveness.
The tool was built in three different components. The patient component is a mobile application that once running, can be slotted into a VR viewer and then either pair with the caregiver application or pull the patient's customized avatar and animation routine from the server. The caregiver component is a PC application that allows the caregiver to customize an avatar, virtual landscape, and a set of animations to be run as the patient's treatment and then save these settings to the server. The server stores the caregiver's settings for each patient and is what allows for the patient to perform treatment at home as well as giving the caregiver the ability to modify treatment remotely.