HARTFORD, Conn., March 6, 2018 – The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) today announced it is collaborating with Cedars-Sinai, Samsung Electronics America, Bayer and appliedVR to explore the effectiveness of a digital pain-reduction kit that uses therapeutic virtual reality (VR) and wearable technology as a non-pharmacological supplement to managing pain associated with acute orthopaedic injuries of the lower back and extremities. Cedars-Sinai’s Center for Outcomes Research and Education and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery will conduct the clinical research project over 16 months and include between 90 and 140 participants, ages 18 to 65. The goal of the program is to improve outcomes for injured workers by leveraging state-of-the-art technology.
“Workplace injuries that lead to chronic pain can cause ongoing issues, as an injured employee may mask pain with opioids or other drugs,” said Dr. Melissa Burke, National Pharmacy Director at Travelers. “Identifying new, non-pharmacologic alternatives for pain management can help an injured employee avoid chronic pain, lower the chances that they will develop a dangerous opioid addiction and reduce medical costs. We are grateful for this partnership and look forward to seeing the results that Dr. Brennan Spiegel and the Cedars-Sinai team uncover using the latest technology from appliedVR, Bayer and Samsung.”
“The opioid crisis doesn’t just cost money, it also costs lives,” said Dr. Spiegel, Director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai. “We need to find ways to stem the tide without relying entirely on medicines. Health technology, like virtual reality, has tremendous potential to improve outcomes while saving costs, which is why we’re so excited about this collaboration among academia and industry.”
The digital pain-reduction kit to be used in the trial consists of a Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, headset; Samsung GearFit2 wearable; therapeutic pain management content, powered by biosensors provided by appliedVR; and an Aleve® Direct Therapy TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) Device for those with lower back pain from sore and aching muscles due to strain from exercise and normal household and work activities, provided by Bayer. The kit will measure day-to-day functional status, work productivity and the use of pain medication of participants.
“Recent research we’ve led with appliedVR and Cedars-Sinai have demonstrated that virtual reality reduces pain in hospitalized patients and provides a non-pharmacologic alternative to opiates,” said Dr. David Rhew, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Health Care and Fitness for Samsung Electronics America. “This project is exciting and groundbreaking in that it will be the first to evaluate the economic benefits of virtual reality in the setting of workers compensation.”
This partnership is the latest example of Travelers’ focus on finding innovative ways to engage and support injured employees and to help customers maintain a safe workplace and manage workers compensation-related risks. In 2015, Travelers launched its ConciergeClaim® Nurse program, which facilitates access to care for injured employees and provides personal assistance from a Travelers nurse to guide them through the workers compensation process. In 2016, the company created the Travelers Early Severity PredictorSM, a first-of-its-kind predictive model that identifies the likelihood of an injured employee developing chronic pain so that they can avoid it during recovery and reduce the need to use opioids or other painkillers. Most recently, the company launched a new digital self-service capability that streamlines the workers compensation claim process — MyTravelers® for Injured Employees. Travelers also offers a variety of risk management services aimed at helping customers mitigate the risk of injury caused by workplace hazards.
For more information on workers compensation products and services from Travelers, visit www.travelers.com.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $29 billion in 2017. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
Cedars-Sinai is a leader in providing high-quality health care encompassing primary care, specialized medicine and research. Since 1902, Cedars-Sinai has evolved to meet the needs of one of the most diverse regions in the nation, setting standards in quality and innovative patient care, research, teaching and community service. Today, Cedars-Sinai is known for its national leadership in transforming health care for the benefit of patients. Cedars-Sinai impacts the future of health care by developing new approaches to treatment and educating tomorrow’s health professionals. Additionally, Cedars-Sinai demonstrates a commitment to the community through programs that improve the health of its most vulnerable residents.
About appliedVR, Inc.
appliedVR is the market-leading provider of clinically validated therapeutic virtual reality for pain management for use both in-patient and in-home. appliedVR is clinically proven to reduce acute pain up to 52 percent, is distributed in over 180 hospitals across the U.S. and in seven countries globally, and is partnered with 12 of the top 20 ranked hospitals.
About Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion and R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
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