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VA’s Extended Reality Network Expanding Across Agency

The Veterans Affairs Department has announced that their Extended Reality Network is gaining support among veterans and health care practitioners following its launch last fall. According to a VA statement, there is currently 200 staff actively involved in the network. The network has reportedly been engaging with industry, academic, and other federal agencies to promote the use of extended reality, an umbrella term used to refer to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies. Although these terms are frequently used to discuss the gaming industry, the technology is being implemented across several different sectors to accomplish goals.

The VA is implementing extended reality to improve patient care. Veterans wear headsets to extend, simulate, and navigate virtual worlds to deal with conditions such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. There are at least 75 VA sites using the technology, according to the VA. The department is in the process of expanding the technology’s reach at VA offices across the country. At least one of the 75 sites has used the technology with more than 300 patients, 220 of which signed statements regarding their positive experience with the program.

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