Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Medical VR Conference Coming in March


Laura Garcia helps Robert Chernoff, PhD, adjust his VR goggles at the second annual Virtual Medicine Conference at Cedars-Sinai.

Cedars-Sinai is again hosting the highly anticipated Virtual Medicine Conference March 25-26, which is expected to draw more than 400 guests and 50 speakers from across the world to discuss how virtual reality (VR) is transforming healthcare. Discounted registration rates for employees are still available.

"Virtual reality has the potential to offer immersive, multisensory environments that nudge our brains to thinking we are somewhere, or even, someone else," said Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, director of Health Service Research and host of the annual conference. "Soon, doctors may recommend a virtual beach vacation to ease aches and pains instead of prescribing another pill. Psychiatrists might treat social anxiety by inviting patients to a dinner party or reminisce with Alzheimer's patients in a replica of their childhood home. Virtual reality affords us the opportunity to think much differently."

During the two-day conference, attendees will review evidence supporting the efficacy of medical VR, study use cases where VR worked—and didn't work—to improve outcomes, learn best practices and pragmatic tips for implementing VR into clinical workflows, discuss the cost-effectiveness and payer perspectives of therapeutic VR programs and hear directly from patients who have received VR therapeutics.

Spiegel will kick off the conference on March 25 by discussing the "empathy machine," how virtual reality is strengthening the humanity in healing. He will be followed by dozens of speakers who are leaders in the field, including many of Cedars-Sinai's experts, including Melissa Wong, MD, an OB-GYN and maternal fetal medicine specialist, Itai Danovitch, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and Keith Black, MD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Cedars-Sinai remains a leader in medical VR, with studies ranging in topics from looking into the effectiveness of VR in combating pain for hospitalized patients to easing pain during childbirth.

"The conference is open to anyone, not just clinical providers or those with experience in virtual reality," said Spiegel. "The broader and more diverse the attendees, the more we can learn and advance from this jam-packed two-day event."

Discounted employee tickets can be purchased here.

The Virtual Medicine Conference is supported in part by the Marc and Sheri Rapaport Fund for Digital Health Science and Precision Health.