Opioid prescriptions have tripled over the last two decades, with about 300 million opioid prescriptions written in 2015. But the long-term intake and/or reliance on painkillers like Oxycontin often results in addiction and substance abuse.This pain-killing market is over 24million dollars, and innovation is yet to disrupt. Research from the University of Washington indicated that people that received 60 VR sessions reported 60-75% reduced pain, whereas the prescription of morphine-like opioids only resulted in a 30% pain reduction. A simple VR immersive experience was twice as effective as morphine when it came to pain distraction.
We wanted to capitalize on this groundbreaking research and take it even further.
viVR is the treatment of pain using VR and Muse. This research combined with the empirical evidence we gathered during the course of this weekend helped us validate this concept.
What it does
The Muse and the VR headset are used symbiotically. To distract them from painful sensations, such as chronic pain, menstrual cramps, flu-shots, popped bones and more. The immersive viVR experience would help many of these patients access a safer and more effective alternative to painkilling drugs, for certain situations.
The VR experience will allow users to travel through a variety of different landscapes and interact with its components. The Muse headset monitors brain activity using EEGs and from this information, we are able to determine if the VR experience is 'effective'.
We defined effectiveness as heightened brain activity–evidenced by Alpha waves and increased concentration–since it indicated that the users were distracted from their physical state. Based on this information, the VR environment would increase or decrease the number, and type of stimuli in the virtual environment (e.g., narration, spatial sound, moving animals, etc.) to achieve the level of effectiveness desired.
How we built it
We created some immersive VR environments and used the Muse to assess the level of engagement when the subject is inside the demo.
Challenges we ran into
We couldn't get our hands on the Oculus to do more complicated development in terms of asset quality, features, etc.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We actually finished it, without hard-coding. Built a product that works and tested on various people to get a consistently positive result.
What we learned
We learned to use our time effectively and this was the first hackathon where my team had a finished product ready to go on time.
What's next for viVR
We're going to use data from the Muse headband to automatically switch between scenes to maintain constant levels of distraction.