Around 100 clinics and hospitals are working with Samsung to provide patients with therapy which eliminates the need for addictive painkillers. Trials show that using virtual reality headsets takes people’s minds of wounds and injuries by reducing pain as much as 53 per cent as well as anxiety by 60 per cent – which is the equivalent of medication.

Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness at Samsung Electronics America, Dr David Rhew, said: “People are dying every single day because of the opiate epidemic. “It is approaching the level of what Aids was in the 80s so when people say it is an epidemic it really is.

“We found through this, non-invasive, non-addictive way to address this. “It’s an important tool in inventory.

We know it works but we don’t actually know how it works.” Figures show opioid addiction in the US kills more people than breast cancer. This is around 42,000 deaths a year and is thought to cost the economy $2.6 billion a year (£1.89 billion).

Dr Rhew warned that by the time people are dangerously addicted to opioids it is too late to help them with virtual reality. He is hoping to prevent people needing to take them in the first place by offering the alternative therapy. Read more from…

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