The Mobile and Electronic Health ARC looks forward to having Dr. Brennan Spiegel present at our May 25th virtual seminar. 

Virtually Better: The Science and Practice of Therapeutic Virtual Reality

Speaker: Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS

Director of Health Services Research for Cedars-Sinai Health System, Professor of Medicine and Public Health, and Director of the Cedars-Sinai Master’s Degree Program in Health Delivery Science, will be presenting with discussion to follow.

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Join via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 978 2422 3705

Passcode: 968591


Description: Not so far in the future, instead of prescribing another pill, clinicians might prescribe a virtual beach vacation to ease aches and pains. Psychiatrists might treat social anxiety by inviting patients to a dinner party or reminisce with Alzheimer patients in a replica of their childhood home. Hospitals might immerse children in fantastical play lands while they receive chemotherapy or undergo frightening medical tests. It’s all starting to happen now because of virtual reality (VR). For decades, scientists in elite universities have been quietly discovering the surprising health benefits of VR for ailments ranging from burn injuries, to stroke, to acute stress. Over 5000 studies reveal that VR has an uncanny ability to lower pain, calm nerves and boost mental health without requiring pharmacotherapy. But the technology has been too expensive, unreliable and unwieldy for the research to translate beyond the pages of academic journals and doctoral dissertations… until now. Explosive advances in delivering low-cost, portable and high-quality VR has spawned a new field the FDA now calls Medical Extended Reality, or MXR. In this lecture, Dr. Brennan Spiegel will describe frontline stories of using VR in over 3000 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and will review his lab’s latest clinical research, including a trial testing VR in the hospital setting, a new virtual clinic for patients with IBS, and NIH sponsored research testing VR for managing acute and chronic pain.

About the Speaker: Dr. Brennan Spiegel is the Director of Health Services Research for Cedars-Sinai Health System, Professor of Medicine and Public Health, and Director of the Cedars-Sinai Master’s Degree Program in Health Delivery Science. Dr. Spiegel directs a multidisciplinary team that investigates how digital health technologies, including wearable biosensors, smartphone applications, virtual reality, and social media, can improve people’s lives. His team developed one of largest and most widely-documented medical virtual reality program at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Spiegel has published numerous best-selling medical textbooks, editorials, and more than 230 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is listed in the “Top 100 Influencer” lists for digital health and virtual reality. His digital health research has been featured by major media outlets, including Bloomberg, CBS News, Forbes, Huffington Post, LA Times, NBC News, Reuters, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. His virtual reality research won the 2017 “Webby Award” for best technology on the internet, and in 2020 he published the book VRx: How Immersive Therapeutics Will Transform Medicine (Basic Books, NY, NY).

Learning Objectives:
• Introduce the new field of Medical Extended Reality (MXR)
• Explore how VR is used to manage acute and chronic pain in the context of the opioid epidemic
• Evaluate clinical data using VR to support mental health
• Discuss implementation and funding challenges to scaling MXR across healthcare



ME-ARC PI & Director: Belinda Borrelli, PhD., Professor and Director of the Center for Behavioral Science Research, GSDM

ME-ARC Co-Directors: Lisa Quintiliani, PhD., Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, and Tibor Palfai, PhD., Professor of Psychology, BU Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences