Using Virtual Reality to Improve Healthcare Outcomes
Episode 475

Everett Crosland, SVP of Commercial at AppliedVR

Using Virtual Reality to Improve Healthcare Outcomes

Offering a non-opioid, non-pharmacologic pain management regiment alternative through virtual reality

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Using Virtual Reality to Improve Healthcare Outcomes

Episode 475

Recommended Book:

Antifragile

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Company Website:

AppliedVR

Using Virtual Reality to Improve Healthcare Outcomes with Everett Crosland, SVP of Commercial at AppliedVR transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Using Virtual Reality to Improve Healthcare Outcomes with Everett Crosland, SVP of Commercial at AppliedVR was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2020.

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast, where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring health care leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez here. And today, I have the privilege of hosting Everett Crosland. He’s a tenured health care executive with significant experience in developing and executing U.S. and global commercialization and launch strategies. He’s got proven expertise and leadership in launching and commercializing novel pharmaceutical and digital therapeutics, as well as drug device combinations used to treat rare and common diseases. Everett’s most recent experience is as the senior vice president of Commercial at Applied VR, where he has successfully scaled the company’s virtual reality based SAS offering across multiple channels within healthcare in today’s age and healthcare. The consumer experience matters more than ever, and the use of technologies like virtual reality are changing the way that the landscape looks and addresses things. So I’m excited to dive into these topics with with Everett today. And so Everett, just want to give you a warm welcome. Thanks for joining us today.

Everett Crosland:
Thanks so much. I really appreciate the opportunity to chat with you today. And I’m looking forward to the discussion. I think given the audience that you’ve described and the people who download your podcast on a monthly basis. I think we’ll have a fruitful conversation.

Saul Marquez:
I agree. I agree. So tell me Everett what inspires your work in health care?

Everett Crosland:
Sure. I think mostly what gets me up every day and, you know, it gives me that spark every morning is the potential that we have specifically at applied VR to provide an alternative solution for patients who are in pain or dealing with anxiety. We sell a lot of products into the emergency department setting. And I think we can all relate to anytime you’re you’re going into the emergency department, a lot of times that might be the worst day or night of your your year or even your life. And so being able to provide a product that we have confidence and we have clinical evidence that supports our ability to say that we’re reducing pain and worry, we are reducing anxiety and helping patients cope with pain and anxiety. Again, at that point in their life where they need it most. And so I think it’s something that we think a lot about on a daily basis. And it’s definitely something that keeps me motivated or we get the product out there, the more people we’re helping and of course, building a business. I love the idea of being able to successfully start from zero and build something into a multimillion dollar enterprise.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it’s definitely exciting. And so I love to learn a little bit more about the technology, the applications and exactly how you guys are adding value to the ecosystem, Can you hone in on that for us?

Everett Crosland:
Yeah, sure thing. So we offer virtual reality, therapeutic content. We currently are a wellness product, which means that we can’t make medical claims because we have not put our products through FDA for review and clearance as medical devices. But what we are able to do is point to the clinical studies that we’ve done in the clinical studies that have been done on our products and that demonstrate the ability of virtual reality content to that’s really relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, biofeedback, etc. that all are designed to reduce anxiety and help patients cope with acute and chronic pain, something that we have a lot of anecdotal evidence on. But also we’ve done the work to build the clinical body of evidence to support that use as well, and so you think about the value proposition. Obviously, there’s a there’s a patient value here where patients more than a majority of patients prefer a non opioid, non pharmacologic pain management regiment, virtual reality offering clearly we fit the bill. We also have a value prop for health systems and physicians in a variety of different settings and citing the emergency department. A lot of times there’s high anxiety in that setting. And you can imagine that a patient with comorbidities and who’s on on average 6 to 11 different drugs when they come through the door, adding another drugs such as a benzo can complicate your work stream and workflow. And so if you’re able to introduce again a non pharmacologic solution that helps patients cope with their anxiety and pain in that setting, then you’re able to improve efficiencies as well so we can go through multiple different settings. But that’s just one example where we think through our value prop in terms of what we’re offering the patient, what we’re offering docs in terms of their workflow efficiency and then what we’re offering health systems in terms of their ability to provide value to patients and improve the cost structure that they obviously think about on a day to day basis.

Saul Marquez:
Not some some valuable pearls there Everett and I mean, we’ve discussed the challenges with the opioid epidemic and last year the NIH funded that they approved like 945 million dollars toward research for non opioid ways to reduce pain long term and this is a critical time for technologies like this.

Everett Crosland:
Yeah. So we actually received some grant funding through the NIH NIH there and we’re doing a number of.

Saul Marquez:
Awesome.

Everett Crosland:
Yeah, we were part of that last week. I think shows the team effort. We’ve got a number of experts on staff here that just did humans work in getting those grant applications. And I think it’s a real mark of credibility when NIH sees promise in your in your product and you’re offering and we’re using that money to conducted clinical randomized controlled studies at Cleveland Clinic and Geisinger to study both pain reduction as well as opioid sparing. So we’re matching this product up against standard of care that currently uses opioids, and rightfully so in many cases but there’s also rooms to improve and rooms to potentially reduce the need for opioids in a certain patient population. And we’re investigating that, and we’re kicking those clinical studies off this year. And ah yeah we’re really grateful for the NIH funding as well. And it helps a company like ours, which is a venture backed company that helps us extend runway, helps us bring in more experts. And again, it just lends credibility.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I totally agree with you. I read and it’s exciting to hear you. You’ve got these outstanding partnerships with some of the best in the provider space. And as you think about your company, the company that you guys are run in there. What is it that differentiates it? Why is it better than other VR things that are out there?

Everett Crosland:
I think our approach is relatively unique in that we have a really broad base of data that we’re pulling from. So we sell into over 250 hospitals across the country, we sell into 7 different countries. So we’ve got an incredible amount of use that in data from that use that we are using to mind for poor clinical signals. And that use is just increasing it with 30000 patient that have used our product to date. This year, I think we’ll probably hit 40000. And that gives us a real competitive advantage in that we’re able to see where VR works and where it doesn’t. We think about treating pain, for example, in a lot of companies are looking at VR as a solution for pain, we’re not reselling unique in that. But the reason is that there’s a mechanism of action there and a cascade there that we believe that we all believe that we can tap into applied VR has the distinct advantage of being able to see across those 30 ideally say 40000 users over the course of a few years and and really mind for insights and signals we’re using that shape our clinical studies and shape our clinical development program. I think what we’re we’re also differentiated is our intense focus on clinical evidence development, and we’re doing that through strategic partnerships. So our intense focus on clinical evidence development, we’ve see that at other companies as well. But I’ll tell you, the way that we’re doing it, I think it’s where we do this through strategic partnerships for the strategic partnership strategy, where we are co-developing are a cancer related anxiety product with NCI and NIH we’re working with a couple of large health system payers in that co-development capacity there as well. And even in our clinical study with days in during Cleveland Clinic, we have a strategic partnership element to those that they’re not just transactional clinical development program or software that we’re able to use the leverage the expertise that the patients bring to bear and fold in the development so that the products that are out of the clinical study it goes into FDA and ultimately hit the market, it’s something that it in shaped by the best practitioners. Well, I think that that gives us a competitive advantage there’s often what you’ll see is that it’s a clinical study, once there table. It’s got to have that product for clinical.

Saul Marquez:
I totally agree.

Everett Crosland:
But if you do this in a unique way, I think that you’re able to produce. I think you’re able to produce a product that is better than that, just a transsexual clinical study.

Saul Marquez:
You’ve brought up some good points and there’s a reason why these institutions have decided to partner with applied VR. So congratulations on on those partnerships, it’s exciting to see that the broad level of use is also giving you guys some uniquenesses there to pull more insights. What would you say is one of the biggest setbacks you guys have had? And what’s a key learning?

Everett Crosland:
Probably some of the biggest setbacks have been just I think this is probably true of anything in health care takes twice as long and maybe three times as much money as you would you would have predicted going in. So that’s a learning that we were generally familiar with, that, you know, that you can only be so accurate in your predictions. That said, I think that probably the unique learning there is is that, you know, there is a way the to the risk things, to kind of start small, feel small and move quickly, even within health care. And I think our learning probably was that we wanted to skip over a couple of those small steps. And I think there just laws of physics and health care that you can’t get around. And I think that’s probably are learning. And we didn’t learn too much of a hard way because we’re able to course correctly quick win. But yeah, I think that’s probably the answer for for us. I’m sure everybody else has their unique learnings as well.

Saul Marquez:
Now, for sure to good one. And if he had to say one thing that you’re most excited about today, what is it?

Everett Crosland:
I think for us we’re really looking at 2020 as this year where we bring VR to just a much more scaled stage. When you think about 250 hospitals, that’s it depends on how you kind of cut the universe of hospitals, but that’s about 1 to 2 percent, maybe 3 percent of hospitals. And so we’re still just barely, barely part of the mindset of hospital lists and very select few. And I think 2020 is this this year where we’re going to see applied VR and probably a couple other companies. But I think applied VR will be leading the way for we have use across system wide use across major institutions. So inter-mountain will be using us across 24 different health systems. We’ll have Northwestern being using us across a few different sites as well. We also have those clinical studies that are going on with Geisinger in Cleveland Clinic. But we anticipate some of the larger systems adopting a system wide. But I think that really is a turning point where you see any product class can get into a hospital, get into a handful of hospitals or didn’t do a couple of hundred hospitals by hook or by crook type of thing. And you’re selling it in at the department level where you see those turning points in that traction take hold is where you start to see that system wide adoption. And I think that’s really the most exciting thing for us this year, because it means that a lot of things are falling in place. And those are things like EMR integration, usage based billing. Things like that where you’ve really integrated in you’re entrenched interest system. They’re entrenched into an order setter quick set. You’re just in the workflow such that we’re no longer the kind of weird toy that some innovative doc is using. We are part of a treatment pattern and that is a major step. But I think we’ll still be a baby step because we won’t be in every large system. But I think we’re gonna see that really take hold this year. In related industry as a whole, even Therapeutics and NPR specifically will be better for it as we move forward even beyond 2020.

Saul Marquez:
Everett I think that’s very insightful and it is exciting. I mean, I remember just 5 years ago, Right., I mean, there was a gadget and it was a futuristic you know today.

Everett Crosland:
Right.

Saul Marquez:
It’s happening. And to your point that what’s next is is very exciting because people are starting to look at this very seriously. Companies like yours applied VR doing the serious clinical studies and partnerships to validate it. So, yes, kudos to you and your team for the work that you’re doing here. It’s a groundbreaking work and I definitely think it’s it’s going to pay off.

Everett Crosland:
Well, thank you. No, we’re we’re really excited about it. The founding team here is built an incredible team. You’re really lucky to be part of such a good group of people and good experts. And just to do my part and I think that, you know, I look at this, too, as whenever you’re in such a nascent industry, you know, we have the responsibility to try to get it right and do it right in part. That’s why we’re we’re taking the clinical evidence development route that we are and why we prioritize that at the top of our business model. I think every everybody that comes behind us is ultimately be following in his footsteps. It’s it’s a great responsibility to patients and health systems to ensure that what we put forward and what everybody else ultimately puts forward, that we move beyond that kind of fun gadget and that we are truly of a medical offering, medical grade evidence and medical medical grade promotion. And, you know, I think we’re setting the tone and that’s one of the most exciting parts of building an industry here is in probably one of most anxiety inducing parts of building. An industry is is trying to get it right when they’re not a lot of analogs out there for us to go off of.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Yeah. So great. So great. And so one more question before we conclude. What book would you recommend of listeners?

Everett Crosland:
Oh, let see, I think probably the book that I’ve read every couple of years is Antifragile by Nassim Taleb.

Saul Marquez:
Oh really.

Everett Crosland:
Yeah. It’s fantastic. It’s a little bit philosophical. Look on on how to build a business or live a life. And my biggest takeaway from it is that it’s not just a matter of being able to withstand withstand the inevitable hits that you’re going to take, that you really shouldn’t build your business that way. So you should build your business and live your life in a way that when you take those hits, it actually makes you stronger. And I just love that as a take away. And I also just love the way that author lays out his thinking.

Saul Marquez:
And you read it a couple times every few years. So that says a lot.

Everett Crosland:
Well, it’s a pretty dense read. So I always, always kind of get a new nugget every time I I read it again.

Saul Marquez:
So good. What a great recommendation. Appreciate that. Everett, So I mean incredible Right.. You’ve laid down the foundation here for for all of us to really consider virtual reality as part of a a care plan. So I love if you could just share a closing thought with the listeners, maybe a call to action. What do we need to be thinking about doing here? Everett as we are as we think about VR.

Everett Crosland:
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I would invite your your listeners to go to appliedvr.io, we’ve got a lot of great information on our site. We also went to a lot of our science. And you can see a fair amount of just the science of VR that’s that’s been developed over the last 3 decades. And that is in the works over coming this year and in the coming years. I think the biggest call to action is really to consider to seriously consider how virtual reality is not digital solutions can play a role in improving care for patients without disrupting workflows and without the legacy burdens of some past digital health products that probably were cumbersome. Is this new wave of technologies out there that have been out for a couple of years and their adoption is taking the curve that most new technologies take, which it just takes time. But I invite your listeners to try to accelerate that adoption, which patients will benefit.

Saul Marquez:
Great call to action and folks. I’m definitely thinking about it. And I hope you are, too. And again, the website is appliedvr.io, you can also go to outcomesrocket.health and in the search bar type in applied VR or type in Everett and you’ll find the entire show notes and transcript of our conversation with Everett today. So again, Everett just want to say thanks for spending time with us and looking forward to staying in touch.

Everett Crosland:
Thanks. It’s been a real pleasure, really good time.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast.Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

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