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Diane Gromala, PhD


School of Interactive Arts and Technology at SFU

Simon Fraser University

Diane Gromala, PhD, is Canada Research Chair in Computational Technologies for Transforming Pain, and the Founding Director of the Chronic Pain Research Institute and the Pain Studies Lab at Simon Fraser University. She is a Full Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT).

Research interests focus on innovating health technologies to help people who live with chronic pain and their health professionals to better manage their pain. My evidence-based research emphasis has been on immersive virtual reality (VR) and determining if and how much VR may be able to help produce positive, long-term physiological/neurological changes. My biopsychosocial approach situates VR and other forms of technology (personal & big data, visualization, precision medicine, social media) in broader models of care.

I am currently using VR:
• as a method to help manage chronic pain
• as a non-pharmacological analgesic for breakthrough and acute pain s
• to help motivate rehab & physical activity for people who live with arthritis
• as training for healthcare professionals to "inhabit" the lived experience of people who live with chronic pain
• as a visualization of health data

Research Keywords: chronic pain, VR, neurotechnology, neuroplasticity

CIHR Pillar(s): 
Biomedical Research, Clinical Research

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