Virtual Reality Platform for Seniors
MyndVR has created a Virtual Reality (VR) platform for seniors.
This award-winning platform enables older adults to interact with the outside world through virtual experiences. These experiences are designed to reduce anxiety and depression, increase socialization, and stimulate memory and cognition.
Most VR companies target youth and gaming audiences with a complex system and user interface. MyndVR’s experience is designed to be easy to use, comfortable, and familiar to older adults.
Similar products aimed at seniors have become enormously successful. Jitterbug, for example, was marketed as a simple-to-use smartphone for seniors. The company behind the phone, GreatCall, was acquired in 2018 by BestBuy, an electronics retailer, for $800 million.
MyndVR has raised nearly $2 million from notable investors including HTC (a computer manufacturing company and one of the leaders in VR technology) and Capital Factory (a Texas-based venture fund and accelerator for early-stage startups).
The company has been featured in Forbes, Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post, and Yahoo! Finance. And its customer based tripled in 2020, creating over $600,000 in revenue. It’s also collaborating with Stanford University on one of the largest-ever studies on VR and its effects on aging.
At its core, MyndVR is meant to help seniors fight the risks associated with isolation.
Isolation is a fast-growing health risk for older adults. Research from the National Institute on Aging has linked social isolation and loneliness to heart disease, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Isolated seniors have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline. And according to research from the University of California, San Francisco, 43% of adults over 60 report feelings of isolation.
Lockdowns due to the coronavirus have only made this problem worse. Furthermore, the number of seniors in the U.S. is projected to nearly double between 2018 and 2060.
MyndVR provides an easy-to-use platform for those living in senior living communities, health care providers, veterans homes, and individual adults who are “aging in place.”
VR therapy is already a proven treatment for anxiety, pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, and other conditions. MyndVR is at the forefront of applying this therapy to aging and age-related conditions.
In fact, its technology has already had a demonstrative positive effect on seniors:
In a study at Silverado, an assisted living facility, 25% of participants exhibited improved behavior after using MyndVR. When used at a senior community affiliated with Life Care Services, a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease lost his tremors and regained equilibrium, thanks to VR therapy.
And researchers at Indiana University’s Center for Aging Research observed decreased anxiety, pain, and delirium, as well as enhanced overall mood.
MyndVR is sold as a bundled subscription service to nursing homes and senior care facilities. There is also a smaller bundle — a “MyndVR at Home” product — for seniors who still live on their own.
The main bundle includes VR headsets, tablet controllers, training, and technical support. It also includes curated content, which is entirely catered toward older adults. Content aims to reconnect seniors with interests like travel, nature, pets, art, music, meditation, learning, and adventure.
Similar to Netflix, MyndVR offers both licensed and original titles, including hundreds of VR experiences through an exclusive deal with Littlstar (one of the largest aggregators of VR content). MyndVR’s own library of original content includes dozens of experiences, including a 2,000-mile trip down Route 66 called “A Road to Remember.”
Customers sign multi-year contracts to subscribe to MyndVR’s service. These contracts range from $2,000 to $15,000 per year.
The company’s at-home product is priced at $595 for a headset and tablet combination. These are loaded with hundreds of experiences. And additional content can be added each month for a $29.95 monthly subscription. MyndVR also generates revenue through premium add-ons, including caregiver training, full-length VR movies, and interactive exercises.
Notably, MyndVR believes that VR therapy may soon be reimbursed by both private insurance and Medicaid/Medicare. Its advisory board includes VR researchers and scientists who are guiding clinical studies to achieve this goal.
Chris has experience in the technology and media industries. He’s also an Emmy-nominated content producer.
He began his career as an assistant Vice President with Verizon, a telecommunications company. From there, he was Vice President of Global Marketing and Internet Operations with BT, another telecommunications company.
For two years, he was an executive producer for health, music, and technology programming with SkyTV, a British media company. After that, he was a creative director for GuideSpark, a computer software company focused on the animation industry.
More recently, Chris co-founded Xlantic, an Emmy-nominated video production company.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Texas.
Walter is a research scientist, trained in neuroscience and behavioral science. He’s also a medical product developer with a focus on Virtual Reality and digital health technologies.
For the past eight years, he’s been a Medical VR Expert at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. He also spent time as Director of the Mind Division at the Stanford Center on Longevity.
Prior to that, he was Director of Technology Strategy at the National Mental Health Innovation Center. Before that, he was a board member with Sine Wave Company, which specializes in creating immersive virtual environments.
Earlier in his career, he was Chief Science Officer with Pear Therapeutics, a health company developing software products to address cognitive function. He was also a board member with Sixense Enterprises, a developer of software products for customers in the healthcare, training, and education spaces.
Before that, Walter was a board member with BehaVR, which provides VR experiences that educate and motivate healthy behavior. He also advised the World Economic Forum on the importance of VR technology.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Hampshire College and a Ph.D. in Neuro and Biobehavioral Science from Stanford University.
Jim has a history of developing tech products for seniors.
Most recently, he was Vice President of Business Development with teleCalm, a phone service for seniors living with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive challenges.
Earlier, he founded GSC, an engineering design and manufacturing business. Before that, he held positions of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Manufacturing with Interphase Corporation, an electronics manufacturing company.
Jim began his career as a manufacturing engineer with Texas Instruments, a semiconductor company. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Kansas State University.
Shawn has extensive experience in healthcare, including a focus on senior care solutions.
Most recently, he co-founded Maxxsure, a software company focused on cyber security. Before that, he was Chief Information Officer with Creative Solutions in HealthCare. This company offers information technology services to healthcare businesses.
Earlier, he was a management consultant with Envision Healthcare Corporation, where he created the company’s IT and business strategies. Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer for MedNetwoRx, a company providing technology solutions to medical practices. He held this position after serving as a management consultant with HealthLinkRx, a healthcare management company.
Notably, Shawn was Vice President of Aperian, an IT services company. He helped take the company public in the late 90s and negotiated a $40 million deal with HP, a computer manufacturing company. He began his career working in IT and corporate strategy for Verizon.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Texas and a Master’s degree in Engineering from Southern Methodist University.