Virtual reality company BehaVR, Fern Health merge to become RealizedCare


VR behavioral health platform BehaVR is merging with virtual chronic care-management company Fern Health to form RealizedCare, a digital care-management platform for chronic pain powered by digital therapeutics.  

BehaVR developed mental and behavioral health prescription digital therapeutics, which include treatments for pain, stress, anxiety and addiction. The Tennessee-based company also utilizes biometrics and machine learning models in its offerings.

Fern Health is a digital chronic pain-management company that provides tailored programs, education, activities and other tools for individuals focused on improving their quality of life and physical function. The programs address the emotional, physical and social aspects of chronic pain.

The companies signed an agreement to merge their businesses, and the new offering will be branded as RealizedCare, which will combine digital therapeutics with wraparound virtual services to supply value-based chronic care management. 

The partners also announced that research-based pharmaceutical company Grünenthal, the parent company of Fern Health, partnered with RealizedCare and is a strategic investor in the newly formed company. 

“We’ve spent the last five years building, perfecting and validating evidence-based, immersive, digital therapeutics designed to address fear and pain,” Aaron Gani, founder and CEO of BehaVR and CEO of RealizedCare, said in a statement. “Through this new offering, we will unlock the power of those interventions to scale personalized care to individuals impacted by chronic pain in a way that prioritizes outcomes and offers the integrated support needed to manage these symptoms effectively.”

THE LARGER TREND

In 2021, BehaVR and Japanese company Sumitomo Pharma signed a potential $163 million deal to develop virtual reality therapies aimed at treating social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

The partnership included a ​​multi-DTx deal and was one of the largest collaborations between a pharma company and a VR firm in history. 

In December last year, the digital therapeutics company announced it was merging with Oxford University spin-out OxfordVR, a VR platform for severe mental health issues. The companies united under the BehaVR brand and garnered $13 million in Series B funding to support the merger.

Other extended reality companies providing pain-management tools include California-based virtual reality-therapeutic company AppliedVR, which last year received FDA De Novo clearance for its EaseVRx system, now RelieVRx, for treating chronic lower back pain.

Boston-based virtual reality platform XRHealth recently announced plans, in collaboration with Nord-Space Aps and HTC Vive, to send a VR headset to space for mental health treatment. 

The collaborators are engineering the Vive Focus 3 headset to withstand the conditions of space by using a simulator mode and specialized tracking methodology through the controllers to ensure the headset can effectively operate in a microgravity environment.


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