press coverage

 of Cedars-Sinai's VR treatment program 

Virtual Reality in Medicine

Therapeutic virtual reality (VR), the use of the immersive, computer-generated technology in medicine, is on the fast track to widespread use. In some hospitals and clinics, your doctor can already prescribe a visit to a VR world to ease your pain or anxiety or to explain a complex medical procedure or condition.

Virtual reality goggles for medical healing

Fox 11 News Feature by Hal Eisner with Dr. Brennan Spiegel and Dr. Omer Liran. 

It’s no game: Virtual reality could be health care’s next big thing

Tom Norris and Brennan Spiegel join Michal Lev-Ram and Brian O’Keefe, the hosts of Fortune Brainstorm, a podcast that explores how technology is reshaping our world, to talk about uses of virtual reality in health care.

Prescription Gaming

The newest way to administer medication? Through a screen. An emerging class of techceuticals is pressing play on the future of health management.

Meet Virtual Reality, Your New Physical Therapist

While use of the gaming technology for improving physical ailments is still in the early stages, it shows promise — and it’s fun.

Author of VRx Dr. Brennan Spiegel: Virtual Reality in Gastroenterology

Praveen Suthrum, President, NextServices and Author, Scope Forward interviews Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, Director of Health Services Research, Cedars-Sinai Health System and Author of VRx: How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine.

Technology and Its Impact on the Patient Experience: An Interview with Dr. Brennan Spiegel

In this fascinating interview hosted by Milli Long, Dr. Spiegel discusses the newest uses of technology in medicine including telemedicine.

The ER enters VR - Getting healthy via virtual reality

WellWell recently caught up with Dr. Spiegel to talk all things VR and how it’s being used in hospitals and as medicine. 

Virtual Reality Augmenting Therapy in Gastroenterology and Beyond

In gastroenterology and beyond, virtual reality (VR) is beginning to augment traditional therapies, including those intended to alleviate pain and anxiety.

An Innovator’s “VRx”

Could virtual reality be effective as a treatment for chronic pain?  Or as therapy for PTSD?  As a way to combat phobias?  Or even as a means of preventive medicine? According to Dr. Brennan Spiegel’s new book, VRx: How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine, the answer is, “very possibly”.  It may also be, “very soon.”

Virtual reality is being harnessed by medicine to treat everything from pain to phobias

A new book by Dr Brennan Spiegel, a physician in the US, makes the argument for a therapy that acknowledges the mind-body connection.

Virtual Reality as a Digital Therapeutic

Virtual reality has shown the ability to decrease pain, reduce opioid dependence, and boost mental health. How is this digital therapeutic changing the treatment landscape for gastroenterology?

8 Science Books to Read

(or Gift) This Winter

The opioid epidemic has been raging in the US for more than two decades with no end in sight, but VRx, a new book by Brennan Spiegel, points to an unlikely high-tech solution to this devastating problem: virtual reality. 

“VRx”: A Medgadget Book Interview with Author Dr. Brennan Spiegel

In his recently released book, VRx: How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine, Dr. Brennan Spiegel, a gastroenterologist and Director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, goes into detail about how virtual reality is playing an increasing role in therapeutic medicine.

Virtual Reality and the COVID Mental Health Crisis

I am being challenged daily. As a frontline doctor, I find that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only tested my clinical abilities but also strained my capacity to bear witness to grievous suffering. This suffering extends well beyond the physical distress of hospitalized patients battling the virus.  

Leveraging Virtual Reality In Skilled Nursing Facilities

Virtual reality technology, which has always enabled gamers to boldly go where no one has gone before, has in recent years branched out into yet another world: elder care

How virtual reality therapy can cure PTSD, obesity and even the pain of childbirth

This unusual treatment for pain management is just the beginning of a revolutionary new approach to medicine.

In-depth: Despite some hiccups, COVID-19 is VR's time to shine

Healthcare VR researchers say that certain projects have stalled during the pandemic, but strong demand and emergency reimbursement decisions out of CMS have raised hopes across the industry.

New Study Confirms Virtual Reality is a Painkiller

After putting on VR goggles, patients leave reality and enter a breathtaking, unreal world. The distraction is so enormous that brain seems not to able process other sensations, like pain for example. A new study shows that hospitalised patients using VR report a drop in pain scores.

Study Finds Virtual Reality Can Help Reduce Severe Pain

Virtual reality (VR) is quickly transforming the healthcare industry, changing the way patients and doctors receive and give care.  Some pregnant women are experimenting with VR headsets to ease the pains of childbirth. And in 2017, burn victims started using VR gaming to lessen the excruciating pain of having their bandages changed.

Cedars-Sinai study on inpatient VR pain management offers glimpse at real-world outcomes

Therapeutic virtual reality is not only an effective approach for hospital inpatients experiencing a wide variety of pain, but likely retains its impact when provided over multiple days under real-world circumstances, according to a new Cedars-Sinai clinical study published today in PLoS One.

Here’s how new technologies are tackling the opioid crisis

Venture capitalists and start-ups are betting they can play a crucial role in helping fix one of the country's most vexing problems.

Hospitals Try Giving Patients a Dose of VR

When Deona Duke woke up from a medically-induced coma to begin recovering from burns that covered almost a third of her body, one of her treatments was hurling snowballs at penguins.

Well / Connected with Dr. Joe Kvedar and Dr. Brennan Spiegel 

A fascinating conversation with Dr. Brennan Spiegel, Director of Health Services Research for Cedars-Sinai Health System.  Listen as he and Dr. Kvedar dig into his research in Virtual Reality and its applications in several areas of medicine, conduct an exploration of cognitive and physiologic immersion and discuss the groundbreaking Virtual Medicine Conference.

Virtual reality may mean real pain relief for hospitalized patients

For many hospital patients, pain is part of their reality. According to a new study, however, an unreal environment might help.  Virtual reality may help.

COVID-19 and Therapeutic VR with Dr. Brennan Spiegel 

Brennan Spiegel, director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, joins host Jonah Comstock and MobiHealthNews' Dave Muoio to discuss COVID-19's effect on virtual medicine and the future of therapeutic VR.

A new reality: How VR is poised to make real-world clinical impact

Virtual reality has evolved from being a technological novelty to a legitimate clinical tool in areas like chronic pain management and neurological rehab, leading experts to think through how best to integrate VR into healthcare.

Solving opioid abuse will require more than well-designed digital interventions

Opioid abuse is among the most pressing issues in healthcare, so it’s no surprise that the epidemic was a major topic of discussion at CES 2018’s Digital Health Summit. Following a lengthy discussion about the national crisis’ societal factors and specific digital-based interventions, a panel comprised of industry experts and academics repeatedly found themselves in agreement that no one approach will be sufficient in and of itself.

Enlisting Virtual Reality to Ease Real Pain

In a Los Angeles hospital a short drive from Hollywood, some patients are tapping into virtual reality. But at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 3D technology is there not for entertainment but pain relief

One of the best ways to treat excruciating pain is to change people's reality so they forget it exists

The entire purpose of pain is to make sure it's the main focus of your attention, to make it so you don't focus on anything else.

Here's how virtual reality is being used to manage pain

Watch - Here's how virtual reality is being used to manage pain.  

Virtual reality: A new dimension in medicine

You’ve probably heard of "mind over matter." Some doctors believe this could be the key to unleashing your own healing power.

Virtual Reality Adds a New Dimension to Pain Management

For patients in severe pain, sometimes even the most powerful medication cannot provide sufficient relief.

But what if doctors could effectively reduce such suffering simply by manipulating a patient’s perception? Through virtual reality, they can.

Virtual Reality Is Being Used To Decrease Pain In Hospital Patients

Virtual reality is able to significantly reduce pain levels by “hijacking” the senses of hospital patients, without the need for drugs, according to new research.

The unique challenges of applying digital innovation to the medical field

Digital health is transforming medicine at a breathtaking pace: wearable biosensors, mobile health applications, and electronic health records have revolutionized data collection and processing, allowing low-cost, quick delivery of data from patients directly to healthcare providers, administrators, and analysts.

Encouraging good health – Holman UMC teams with Cedars Sinai to reduce blood pressure among parishioners

Usually spiritual health is foremost in mind when it comes to attending church. However, Pastor Kelvin Sauls takes a holistic approach and wants a physically healthy congregation as well.

Virtual reality emerges as a therapeutic tool in gastroenterology

The body of evidence to support virtual reality (VR) as a therapeutic modality will increasingly involve the GI tract, according to evidence summarized at the 2019 AGA Tech Summit, sponsored by the AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology.

Six questions with Dr. Brennan Spiegel

Prior to his talk at HIMSS17, Dr. Spiegel joined me for an interview to share his thoughts and perspective on digital transformation related to personal connected health.

How doctors are using virtual reality to manage pain

Watch - How doctors are using virtual reality to manage pain  

Better than opioids? Virtual reality could be your next painkiller

Not so far in the future, your doctor might prescribe playing a few games in virtual reality to ease aches and pains, rather than popping a pill.

Cedars Sinai research director talks lessons learned as a "hospital virtualist"

There's some technology that has to be seen to be believed. Dr. Brennan Spiegel, director of health services research at Cedar-Sinai Hospital, puts virtual reality technology in that category. And that can make it hard to sell doctors on the idea, at least at first.

Winner of 2017 People's Voice Webby Award for Best Technology on the Internet

Watch - Winner of 2017 People's Voice Webby Award for Best Technology on the Internet 

More medical uses of VR

While virtual reality is being put to use to help reduce stress for young patients, Boston Children’s Hospital and other hospitals around the country are eyeing the technology – and others like it – as a key part of the future of medicine.


At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, doctors are studying how using VR could reduce pain, running a series of clinical trials.

5 Takeaways from the 2018 Virtual Medicine Conference

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How one top hospital is using virtual reality

A doctor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center explained how virtual reality technology is impacting patients suffering from chronic pain at MD&M West.

Cedars-Sinai Research: Patients Using On-Demand VR Reduces Pain Scores

Cedars-Sinai researchers reveal hospitalized patients on-demand use of virtual reality (VR) resulted in statistically significant improvements in pain. 

Review of VR studies shows promise for the technology

A team of researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has published a review of randomized trials studying the use of virtual reality in inpatient settings. The research team included Dr. Brennan Spiegel, who heads up a team that uses virtual reality for pain reduction at Cedars-Sinai.

Interview with Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS

Interview with Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS

Virtual reality for inpatient use 

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center recently published the results of the use of virtual reality (VR) on their inpatient service in a large feasibility study that we previously covered. Cedars has followed up on this study by publishing a second VR study – this time a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on inpatient virtual reality use.

Cedars-Sinai learns from what does - and doesn't - work in therapeutic VR

At the Digital and Personal Connected Health Event at HIMSS in Orlando, Cedars-Sinai Director of Health Services Research Brennan Spiegel spoke some more about his experiences using virtual reality to help alleviate patients’ pain and allow them to virtually escape the confines of the hospital during their recovery.

CES interview about therapeutic VR

CES interview about therapeutics VR 

The 10 most exciting digital health stories of 2017

Gene-edited human embryo. Self-driving trucks. Practical quantum computers. 2017 has been an exciting year for science, technology – and digital health! It’s that time of the year again when it’s worth looking back at the past months; and list the inventions, methods and milestone events in healthcare to get a clearer picture what will shape medicine for the years to come.

The growth and success of VR/AR/MxR in health

Tune in to hear how these VR/AR/MxR technologies are solving real challenges and laying the foundation for what's coming next.

Study: Virtual Reality can relieve severe chronic pain

Therapeutic virtual reality (VR) may finally be on the verge of going mainstream. For the first time, research has shown that VR can help relieve a variety of pain conditions and is most effective for severe chronic pain.

The case for course of Virtual Reality

VR may help ease conditions from pain to phobias to PTSD. 

A Virtual dip through the VR technology will melt pain  

Virtual Reality therapies have the power to reduce pain by controlling the brain of a patient from recognizing illness.

Doctor uses 21st century technique to tackle high blood pressure

Doctor uses 21st century technique to tackle high blood pressure 

Innovation Rising Episode 20: Dr. Brennan Spiegel, Director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai

Our guest this week is Dr. Brennan Spiegel, Director of Health Services Research for Cedars-Sinai Health System and Professor of Medicine and Public Health at UCLA. Dr. Spiegel joins us on the program for this first part in our series around Virtual Reality in Healthcare.

How virtual reality is helping patients alleviate their pain

Virtual reality brings people with chronic pain to new places and changes their world.

The 10 top trends shaping the future of pharma

The drug sends a message to a caregiver after the patient swallowed it. The doctor prescribes virtual reality treatments for migraines. Do you think it is science fiction? You are mistaken. Just let me familiarize you with the top 10 trends shaping the future of pharma.

New Study Shows Value of Virtual Reality for Pain Management

Latest Study of Hospitalized Patients Using On-Demand Virtual Reality Reveals a Drop in Pain Scores.

Wellness Wednesday: HIV testing, virtual reality to combat pain, and summer nutrition advice

Wellness Wednesday: HIV testing, virtual reality to combat pain, and summer nutrition advice 

CES lecture about therapeutic VR

CES lecture about therapeutic VR 

Find Out How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine with Author Dr. Brennan Spiegel

Dr. Brennan Spiegel, author of VRx: How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine is the guest for this episode of Cool Science Radio.

Can virtual reality reduce high blood pressure at a church in South L.A.?

The Rev. Kelvin Sauls believes health and faith are two sides of the same coin.

He brings yoga and Zumba classes to his church in South L.A. because he knows African Americans are particularly vulnerable to diabetes and heart disease.

Battling Addiction, Pain, and PTSD With Virtual Reality

Last November, Erin Martucci became the first woman to deliver a child using nothing but virtual reality to ease her pain.

Study: Virtual reality reduced pain scores by 24%

Hospitals may soon be replacing pain medication with a virtual reality headset, following new evidence that the technology can help manage pain.

Cedars Sinai launches virtual reality pilots to curb patient pain without drugs

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will begin to use virtual reality technology from Applied VR, in hopes of easing patients' pain with without use of drugs.

In-Depth: Therapeutic VR in 2018 is no longer just a distraction (therapy)

Although it hasn’t yet established its place as a mainstream treatment modality, virtual reality has grown from an interesting diversion into a frequent topic of conversation within digital health.

Got Pain? A Virtual Swim With Dolphins May Help Melt It Away

Virtual reality is not new. But, as people search for alternative ways to manage pain — and reduce reliance on pills — VR is attracting renewed attention.

Study Finds Virtual Reality (VR) to Be Effective in Treating Severe Pain

According to a recent study, the use of virtual reality (VR) may be able to significantly reduce severe pain in hospitalized patients.

VR has proven it can ease the pains of childbirth – next, the opioid crisis

While pregnant with her second child, Erin Martucci decided early on against having an epidural to help manage the pain. But during labour, as her contractions progressed and became increasingly unbearable, she started to reconsider her decision.

Virtual Reality: The Miracle Drug of the Future?

From depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to migraines, chronic pain management and Alzheimer’s disease, virtual reality (VR) is really starting to show great promise as a potential treatment for a range of mental health issues.

Virtual Reality may be real deal in preventative health care

Sandra Goldsmith, 74, a member of the congregation at South Los Angeles' Holman Unified Methodist Church, clips a glasses-like device onto a smartphone and peers in. Instantly she sees herself standing in the middle of a kitchen. On the counter before her sits a range of food products – from black beans to salmon to gumbo to lasagna to fruit smoothies.

Virtual Reality Has Real Promise For Pain Relief

Experiments with virtual reality (VR) in anxiety and pain relief have been performed for over 18 years, and studies are beginning to show how effective VR could be for some types of pain.

VR For Good: How The Virtual Medicine Conference Wants To Better VR Healthcare

Simply saying VR is good for healthcare is too broad a statement. As we all know, there are thousands of different strands of subjects that fall under that umbrella, and identifying which ones VR is well-suited for is a little trickier. But an upcoming conference aims to unify these various strands, providing a VR medical conference that charts the future of technology's impact on the health sector.    

Virtual Reality: Digital medicine to combat pain

Amanda Greene lives with pain.

"If I don't have nerve pain, I might have joint pain. If I'm not having joint pain, I might have headaches," Greene said.


The unrelenting pain is a symptom of lupus, an autoimmune disease in which a patient's immune system attacks the body. Greene has tried acupuncture, massage and opioids, but realized she was allergic to the addictive pain medicine.

VR Offers Patients a Virtual Distraction from Pain

Virtual reality is quickly becoming a much-touted tool for providers, and as it uses become better known and tested, it’s likely the healthcare VR market will grow exponentially in the next few years.

VR could be your next painkiller

Hospitals are rolling out virtual reality to distract patients from painful experiences such as IV placements and dressing changes.

VR in healthcare is changing the patient care game

Virtual reality isn't just for games anymore. These days, healthcare professionals are using the technology for patient care, from enabling doctors to explore congenital heart defects in 3D to dampening pain signals for patients suffering from burns or chronic conditions.

Virtual reality is reshaping medical training and treatment

Arthur C. Clarke, a British science fiction writer, is well known for once writing, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Consumer virtual reality is going through a rough patch as high expectations and hype have deflated somewhat, but when VR does work, it can feel a bit like magic.

Virtual reality experiences may help treat severe pain

Therapeutic virtual reality can be used to reduce severe pain in hospitalized patients, according to a study published August 14, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Brennan Spiegel of Cedars-Sinai Health System, USA, and colleagues.

Virtual reality experiences can help ease severe pain, study says

Playing virtual reality games or relaxing in a virtual nature setting might help ease chronic pain, particularly when symptoms are severe, a new experiment suggests. 

Opioids haven't solved chronic pain. Maybe virtual reality can. 

When someone walks or rolls into the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles with food stuck in their throat, the ER staff calls someone like Brennan Spiegel. As a gastroenterologist, food-pulling-out is something he’s uniquely equipped to do.

Augmented reality in healthcare will be revolutionary

The combination of immersive technology with other innovations will lead to at least an order of magnitude increase in the reach of the healthcare system.

Redefining medicine with special guest Dr. Brennan Spiegel

Today's episode of Redefining Medicine spotlights Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS. Director of Health Services Research for Cedars-Sinai Health System and Professor of Medicine and Public Health at UCLA, Dr. Spiegel also heads the Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education: a multidisciplinary team that investigates the impacts of digital health technologies & innovations, health analytics, and health economics.

VR brings dramatic change to mental health care

Skip Rizzo, associate director for medical virtual reality at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, has been working with the U.S. Army on ways to use Virtual Reality (VR) to treat soldiers' Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for over a decade.

New virtual reality pain management study unites all aspects of healthcare

In recent months, with the opioid crisis on the rise, virtual reality has emerged as a potential drug-free tool for pain management. In a partnership that connects giants from nearly every aspect of the healthcare industry, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Samsung, Travelers Insurance, Bayer and AppliedVR have teamed up in a new 16-month study to evaluate VR for pain reduction and therapeutic purposes.