French start-up Lucine had developed virtual reality goggles designed to reduce physical pain.

One of the many innovative companies currently popping up in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine – a business hotbed that is home to nearly half of the country’s medical and healthcare firms – the Bordeaux-based start-up Lucine has joined the fight against pain. Its latest invention is a pair of VR goggles that can pinpoint pain and alleviate it, according to Le Populaire du Centre.

 

Lucine joins the fight against pain

 

Lucine is run by Marine Cotty-Eslous, who suffers a rare genetic disease that causes her considerable pain on an everyday basis. After deciding to give up her university studies, she created Projet Lucine, an online health/pain relief platform for chronic sufferers. Its brief was to study the mechanisms of pain with the aim of better understanding them and treating them more effectively. 

Cotty-Eslous then launched a crowdfunding campaign for the project, which is also available as a smartphone app and which gives sufferers a clearer insight into their pain thanks to an algorithm able to identify it through five targeted questions.

The platform then offers them the most appropriate solution to their illness, thanks to techniques that change the way the brain perceives pain – among them relaxation, serious games, art therapy and meditation – and all in the comfort of the sufferer’s own home. The service is a major improvement on that offered by pain clinics, which offer patients appointments every three months only. 

 

VR therapy

 

Lucine’s latest contribution to the fight against chronic pain is a pair of VR goggles. Explaining their numerous benefits, Cotty-Eslous said: “They gauge pain so that doctors can find out in 45 seconds flat how and why the wearer is experiencing pain. It’s also a digital source of treatment for patients. We’ve harnessed the cognitive functions of the brain, which produces morphine naturally. What we do, in fact, is trick it to respond to audiovisual stimuli, virtual and augmented reality, and therapeutic video games.”

Wearing the goggles for just a few minutes can help relieve headaches and general and neuropathic pain, and also helps sufferers to fall asleep in the case of intense pain levels. 

 

Health insurance cover

 

The Lucine goggles are still being trialled, as Cotty-Eslous explained: “We’re doing an audit right now and then we’ll embark on our clinical trials in June 2018, at around 15 hospitals in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec, all with a view to obtaining certification.”

This innovative pain-relief device should become available in France under prescription and covered by insurance providers. 

 

 

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