MyndVR, a therapeutic VR company focused on seniors, is now covered by insurance for the first time through a managed care organization in New York.
The company’s VR content has been available to AgeWell’s Carewell members since the start of this year. MyndVR creates recreational therapy content for older adults with the goal of helping combat isolation, anxiety, depression and stimulate memory and socialization. It claims to be the first company to have its VR covered under a Medicare Advantage plan.
“Our members are enthusiastic about their ability to use MyndVR,” Constance Harris-Fields, Agewell’s lead senior benefits adviser, said in an announcement. “The MyndVR benefit enhances our personalized approach to health care.”
CareWell plan members can use MyndVR headsets to enjoy virtual travel, special adventures and entertainment. They can also share their experiences in real time with relatives using VR.
MyndVR began in 2016 and now operates in a variety of settings across the U.S., Canada and Australia. Its goal is to innovate on the size and form of traditional VR headsets, with its model weighing less than a cup of coffee. “We’re really ushering in what is probably the most timely advancement in the history of VR—the ergonomics,” Chris Brickler, CEO and founder of MyndVR, told Fierce Healthcare.
Brickler is excited about the technology and regulatory space advancing to a place that makes VR technology easier for older adults to adopt and use.
“Our goal is to identify those areas where seniors can kind of lose their connection a bit,” he said, “and now we can bring that back in a beautiful way with VR.”
MyndVR hopes to continue expanding coverage among Medicare Advantage and Managed Medicaid plans. Last year, it partnered with Select Rehabilitation to expand access for seniors. The company also has a coalition of academic and industry partners that advocates for the passage of the Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act, which would formally recognize digital therapeutics at a federal level.
For the past four years, the company worked with Stanford University on a landmark study, said to be the largest with VR and seniors, which is expected to be released in about one month, Brickler said.