Veterans Health Administration
Anne Lord Bailey, PharmD, BCPS, is the Director for Clinical Tech Innovation for the VHA Innovation Ecosystem and serves as the lead for Immersive Technology. After completing her residency at Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC, Dr. Bailey spent 2 years focused on treating and curing Veterans with Hepatitis C. During that time she led a team of clinicians and piloted a mobile Hepatitis C Clinic for rural Veterans, an experience that greatly expanded Dr. Bailey’s passion for healthcare innovation. She continues to grow her knowledge and experience through coaching, collaborating, and networking in both healthcare innovation and direct patient care. Since joining the VHA Innovation Ecosystem, Dr. Bailey has worked diligently to expand the use of extended reality across VHA in part by co-creating and co-leading VHA’s Extended Reality (XR) network. The XR network has grown from 1 VA facility to over 100, with over 500 VA employees who are either using or interested in using XR to improve the lives and care of Veterans. In addition, she is also a Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist.
Hoag Memorial Hospital
Robert G Louis, MD, FAANS, Dr Louis is Empower360 Endowed Chair for Skull Base and Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery and Director of the Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag Memorial Hospital. His expertise includes endoscopic and minimally invasive treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors, sellar and parasellar tumors and skull base tumors. Through the use of cutting-edge neuroimaging and neuro-navigational equipment, he utilizes the concept of keyhole neurosurgery, minimizing the damage to surrounding brain, vascular and soft tissue structures. This approach has been demonstrated to decrease post-operative pain, minimize neurologic complications and shorten the length of hospitalization, resulting in better outcomes for his patients.
Since 2015, Dr Louis has been involved with the development and implementation of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies for pre-operative simulation and rehearsal and intraoperative navigation. The 3-D VR/AR platform is provided by Surgical Theater and was developed based on flight simulator technology from F-16 fighter jets. This technology allows the surgeons to literally rehearse complicated operations in virtual reality; affording them the opportunity to visualize critical anatomy and navigate potential pitfalls. The results are making the operations safer and more effective for patients. Under his guidance, the Pickup Family Neuroscience Institute has become the highest volume center for Augmented Reality in Neurosurgery in the United States and is now nationally ranked in the top 1% of all hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
Amelia Virtual Care
Afsana Akhter is the President and Chief of Amelia Virtual Care, a Mental Health platform that uses Virtual Reality to enable better patient care. Amelia Virtual Care is used by over 2,000 therapists across the globe to enhance patient therapy for both in-person and remote environments.
Afsana brings 20 years of experience across Tech and Digital Health and has held commercial leadership roles at Livongo, Prealize Health, and Medullan. Afsana holds BS and MEng degrees in E.E.C.S. from MIT.
Nixon Gwilt Law
Kaitlyn O’Connor, Esq. is Senior Counsel at Nixon Gwilt Law. An energetic and relationship-focused healthcare innovation attorney, Kaitlyn provides practical and strategic legal advice with a focus on business implications and what is best for the client's business. She excels at creative problem-solving and balancing risk in "grey" areas for her clients.
Kaitlyn’s experience and areas of practice include digital health, telehealth, veterinary telemedicine (aka, TelePet), direct-to-consumer digital health business models, remote care management, virtual first delivery models, global privacy and security, teledentistry, fraud and abuse, and HIPAA privacy/security. She provides legal, regulatory, and business guidance to healthcare providers across the spectrum of care, as well as early-stage companies and vendors serving the healthcare industry. Kaitlyn specializes in remote patient monitoring (RPM) and leads NGL’s RPM practice alongside Managing Partner Carrie Nixon. Kaitlyn particularly enjoys working with innovative RPM vendors to implement practical business solutions and accelerate growth in this rapidly expanding industry.
After graduating magna cum laude from Syracuse University, Kaitlyn attended William & Mary Law School, where she served as a member of the Business Law Review. She is a member of the Connected Health Initiative (CHI), Co-chair of the Health & Life Sciences Affinity Group for the National Association of Women Lawyers ("NAWL"), member of the Reproductive Justice Working Group with the Law Firm Anti-racism Alliance ("LFAA"), member of the American Telemedicine Association, and serves as a Mentor for Jumpstart Foundry, an investment group focused on healthcare technology. Kaitlyn also provides mentorship for startups participating in the MassChallenge HealthTech, KidsX, and Leap Venture Studio accelerators.
Kaitlyn is based in Nixon Gwilt Law’s Richmond office and lives in Richmond with her dog Milly.
Adam Hutchinson is the founder of oVRcome, a startup using Virtual Reality and smartphone technology to make mental health treatment more accessible to people with specific anxiety disorders.
oVRcome was the winner of the Immersive/VR Speed Pitch category at SxSW in 2022 and the prestigious Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Innovation & Growth Award for 2022.
They recently completed their first clinical trial with the University of Otago, and Adam will present how they've developed an evidence based intervention for specific anxiety disorders such as phobias and social anxiety.
Joan O’Hara is Vice President for Public Policy at the XR Association, a trade organization focused on immersive technologies (augmented, mixed, and virtual reality) and the development of the next iteration of the internet – the metaverse. In this role, Joan works with leading technology companies, thought leaders, Members of Congress, and other important stakeholders to address some of the industry’s most significant policy challenges including the privacy; content moderation; and conduct and safety.
Before joining XRA, Joan spent nearly a decade in public service, serving at the White House as Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President, and as Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary of the National Security Council; and serving on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security.
In her past life, Joan was an NCAA Division I Head Rowing Coach, an elite sculler and U.S. National Champion, and a Resident Athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego, CA. Joan graduated, cum laude, from New York Law School in 2011 and hails from Long Island, N.Y.
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Dr. Jennifer C. Reneker is a neurologic/ vestibular physical therapist, epidemiologist, and innovator, serving as an Assistant Dean of Scholarly Innovation and Associate Professor in the School of Population Health at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Over the past 11 years, Dr. Reneker has received numerous grants supporting her research directed towards the advancement of evidence-based prevention, detection, and management strategies for neurological impairments. When she moved to Mississippi in 2016, she developed an ardent appreciation for inequities in access to specialist care and began developing innovative ideas to bridge this gap. Through the Center of Excellence in Telehealth at UMMC, she is the principal investigator for a Health Services Resource Administration (HRSA) funded project utilizing an innovative sensorimotor testing strategy in headset virtual reality to provide decision support for the diagnosis and treatment of concussion in collegiate athletes. The goal is to develop a telemedicine compatible medical device to extend access to specialist care for concussion in the rural poor, underserved areas of the United States, and in military environments. Dr. Reneker is the sole-owner of a spin-off company, Alter VIST, LLC., for commercialization of the technology related to her work.
Yale School of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Yale School of Medicine
Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology
Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program
Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital
Asher M. Marks, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine and practicing pediatric hematologist/oncologist. He is the Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology and also serves as the Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer program for Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.
While his clinical research frequently focuses on the care and treatment of children with brain tumors, his role as the director of the AYA program has led to the development of a virtual reality-based support group for adolescents and young adults with cancer. In collaboration with Foretell Reality, a clinical trial was launched in the fall of 2019, with very exciting early findings.
In addition, Dr. Marks serves on the Board of Directors for Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospitals and domestic violence shelters, through the power of play.
Veterans Health Administration
Caitlin Rawlins, BSN, RN, drives innovation at VHA as the Innovation Specialist for the Western North Carolina VA Health Care System and as co-lead of the VHA Extended Reality (XR) Network. Ms. Rawlins has over 10 years’ experience in nursing, the last 5 of which she served as a registered nurse with the VA. After joining the VA, Ms. Rawlins noted a lack of non-pharmacological options for pain and anxiety in clinical settings. This experience triggered her exploration of Virtual Reality (VR) for use with post-operative patients, and, in 2017, Ms. Rawlins initiated VA’s first distraction-focused VR program for pain and anxiety management in Veteran populations. Since then, Ms. Rawlins has received grants through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway Award and investments through VHA Innovators Network. Additionally, in 2021, she became a VHA Shark Tank winner, which will allow her to expand VR use and support more Veterans in need. As co-lead of the VHA XR Network, she serves as the field expert for implementing XR modalities across all VA, consulting with VA sites across the country in the development of XR programs.
Jessica Maslin is the co-founder and President of @mieronvr, innovators of Virtual Reality NeuroTherapy for rehabilitation, physical therapy & pain management.
Mieron is helping patients around the world Achieve More mobility, independence and quality of life through targeted VRNT exercises covering upper & lower body mobility, core stability and gait training modules based in the principles of PT, OT, locomotive training and neuroplasticity.
The Mieron library is appropriate for all levels of mobility, and can be used on its own or paired with other hardware such as FES and gait training equipment for in-patient and out-patient rehabilition of SCI, TBI, and other musculoskeletal disorders.
Jessica has worked in research fields with a background in Chemistry, Applied Sciences, and has published research utilizing Bone Morphogenic Protein (rh-BMP2) in expanded case uses for regenerating bone post trauma. Her analytical and product development skills have been applied in medicine, sports, and technology.
Entrepreneurial spirit and a drive for innovating technology has allowed Jessica to enter business ventures in commercial production, media, application development, VR technology, and digital trends. Jessica is a unique blend of science-meets-creative; with keen research and analytical skills driving the evolution of technology solutions to help change everyday life.
Executive Vice President
Gita joined Penumbra in 2016 and currently serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Real System. Prior to joining Penumbra, Gita worked at Stryker Corporation for 12 years where she held a variety of positions with successively greater responsibility in both Stryker’s Orthopedics Group and Neurovascular division in product management, strategy, business development/integration and information technology. Prior to Stryker, Gita held various product development roles with other cardiovascular medical device companies including WL Gore and Associates and Cordis, a Johnson & Johnson company, in the areas of coronary and peripheral vascular products. Gita received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami (FL) and an Executive MBA from Santa Clara University.
Sarah Hill is a 12-time mid-America Emmy award-winning former TV journalist who developed Healium for herself as well as the millions of others who want to self-heal their anxiety for better sleep and human performance. As the CEO of Healium, Hill has 25 years of experience building unique media franchises. She has 5 patents for biometrically-powered media, her company's mental fitness products are clinically validated in 5 peer-reviewed journals, and her immersive experiences have been viewed more than 7 million times. Hill is a former interactive TV news journalist for the NBC, ABC, & CBS affiliates in Columbia, Missouri. A national Edward R. Murrow, NAB Service to America, National Sigma Delta Chi, and award-winning TV reporter, she spent decades covering the world’s trauma in Sri Lanka, Zambia, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Congo. Healium's roots are in virtual travel for Veterans. In 2015, Hill’s team built a program called “Honor Everywhere”, which uses virtual reality and augmented reality to allow aging Veterans the opportunity to virtually visit their WWII, Vietnam, Korea, & Women’s Memorials. Hill is married with two grown children, three if you count her husband. She likes to run, do hot yoga, and visit the world's historical sites.
Dr. Morgan is a board-certified anesthesiologist, and the founder and President at Waya® Health. Dr. Morgan’s interest in extended reality started shortly after completing his residency in 2015. Seeing the vast potential for extended reality in healthcare, he and his team began building systems that pioneer extended reality technologies for patient-centered applications. Waya® is a healthcare technology company composed of practicing physicians and software developers focused on creating assessments, diagnostics and therapeutic solutions to help patients. Dr. Morgan conceived and contributed to the development of the Waya® Health platform – an immersive system designed for the safe and effective implementation of patient-centric virtual and augmented reality applications. Waya® Health has become a company with national reach, used by healthcare institutions across the United States.
Dr. Morgan completed medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and completed his residency in anesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. While at the Cleveland Clinic, he designed, developed, and patented a system for the collection and the environmentally friendly destruction of controlled substance waste. He is currently the perioperative medical director at Watauga Medical Center in Boone North Carolina. He has created educational programs to guide healthcare providers through the process of starting their own immersive care programs and has also advanced educational efforts for residents focused on the use of extended reality.
Hatsumi and UK XR Health Alliance
Sarah is an entrepreneur, artist and end of life doula working at the intersection of XR, healthcare and arts. She is the founder of Hatsumi, a creative studio that develops immersive experiences for health and wellbeing, including Hatsumi and Soulpaint. Sarah is the producer at Explore Deep, co-founder of Lemonade, co-founder of the XR Health Alliance. She sits on the XR Safety Initiative Medical Council, and strives to dissolve the boundaries between academia, healthcare and the creative industries to create an equitable and just future for immersive technology.
Yale School of Medicine
Director, play4REAL XR Lab at Yale
Deputy Director, Yale Center for Health & Learning Games/play2PREVENT Lab
Yale School of Medicine
Editor-in-Chief, Games for Health Journal
Kimberly Hieftje, PhD, is a Research Scientist and the Director of the play4REAL XR Lab at the Yale School of Medicine, which focuses on the development and evaluation of theory and evidence-informed videogame interventions using XR technology. For the past 12 years, her research has focused on the development and testing of health behavior change and education videogames and has published frequently on developing, evaluating, and implementing game interventions. She has worked on games that have focused on topics including e-cigarette prevention, tobacco use prevention, risk reduction in adolescents, HIV/STI prevention, HIV/STI testing, empowering Black teen girls on their sexual health, alcohol use prevention and harm reduction in teens, bystander intervention, LGBTQ bullying, and school climate.
Dr. Hieftje is a third-year K12 Scholar in the Yale Scholars in Implementation Science program (YSIS) at the Yale School of Medicine funded by NHLBI, a program designed to train junior faculty in implementation science. Her research focuses on better understanding the factors associated with successful implementation of game interventions in schools.
Dr. Hieftje is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Games for Health Journal, the premier journal in the field of serious games for health.
Steven is the Executive Director of medVR, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit that provides catalytic education in medical XR to the medical and technical community.
Steven’s life experience is in engineering, project management, and technology journalism. He has written for leading tech publications Ars Technica, Quartz Fast Company, and IDG. He has organized technical open source and mobile technology communities for over two decades to educate and improve industry cooperation and communications.
He has worked to expand the application of AR and VR into new fields and educate designers, engineers, and developers in spatial computing since 2014. He founded and led the Reality Virtually Hackathon at the MIT Media Lab until the Covid pandemic.
CEO and Co-Founder
Amy Hedrick is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Cleanbox Technology. Her strategy for building a thriving business by solving a real-world problem, and her vision for creating a global impact brand with reach across multiple industries, has grown the company from an idea to a multi-million-dollar global business in two short years. Hedrick brought investment into Cleanbox, and her execution of the company’s vision has established Cleanbox as a brand trusted by its many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 clients.
Hedrick is a thought leader in the applications of immersive technology as industry disruptors and brings innovation ideas and product functionality to Cleanbox’s smart tech hygiene product lines. She has led multiple teams from project inception and funding, to planning and execution, proving herself an effective leader in multiple industries over the past decade.
Immediately prior to funding and incorporating Cleanbox in 2018, Hedrick served as Manager of Content and Digital Media for the think tank division of Li and Fung, a leading global consumer goods sourcing and manufacturing company based in Hong Kong. Her expertise includes conducting bespoke research and C-level reports within technology, retail, and cross-genre applications. Hedrick was one of four writers for the Fung Business Intelligence Center (FBIC). It was this immersion that inspired the business idea that would eventually lead to Cleanbox.
Hedrick spent her early career working with international aid organizations, managing multiple teams of 50-150 healthcare, construction, and emergency intervention professionals, and overseeing direct-aid projects in addition to fundraising in both the profit and non-profit sectors. In addition, she worked in the film industry raising funds, managing budgets for content creation and production.
Hedrick currently serves on various VR and AR Association committees including; Women’s, Healthcare, Enterprise, Safety & Security as well as the Advisory Board for the International Virtual Reality Healthcare Association, and recently contributed to a book “VR and Healthcare”, a compilation of thought leaders in XR, published by Robert Fine.
Hedrick has been named Analytics Insight Magazine’s “The 10 Most Impactful Women in Technology 2020.”
OpenBCI’s Founder & CEO, Conor Russomanno, has been building neural interfaces for over a decade. For his work leading OpenBCI and pushing low-cost, open-source neurotech hardware and software into the world, he was awarded Forbes 30 Under 30 in the category of Science. Conor previously served as an adjunct professor at NYU and Parsons, and also worked as the Director of Advanced Interfaces at Meta, the Augmented Reality company that predates Facebook’s name change. After his time at Meta, Conor served as a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab. Since 2016, Conor has been focused on the intersection of Mixed Reality and Neural Interfaces. With Galea, OpenBCI is now pioneering the future of personalized computing and cognitive augmentation through non-invasive sensor fusion systems.
Walter Greenleaf is a neuroscientist and a medical technology developer working at Stanford University. With over three decades of research and development experience, Walter is considered a leading authority in the field of digital medicine and medical virtual reality technology.
Walter’s current research focus is on developing computer supported clinical products, with a specific emphasis on applying virtual reality and digital health technology to address difficult problems in behavioral and physical medicine such as Post-traumatic Stress, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke, Addictions, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
His early research was on age-related changes in the neuroendocrine system and the effects on human behavior.
Walter is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s MediaX Program, a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and the Director of Technology Strategy at the University of Colorado National Mental Health Innovation Center. He previously served as the Director of the Mind Division, Stanford Center on Longevity, where his focus was on age-related changes in cognition.
Medical Product Development:
Walter has designed and developed numerous clinical systems over the last thirty-five years, including products in the fields of: surgical simulation, 3D medical visualization, telerehabilitation, clinical informatics, clinical decision support, point-of-care clinical data collection, ergonomic evaluation technology, automatic sleep-staging systems, psychophysiological assessment, and simulation-assisted rehabilitation technologies, as well as digital eHealth products for behavioral medicine.
Walter is the Co-founder and Board Chair for the International Virtual Reality Health Association (IVRHA).
He helped establish the California State University Center for Disability Solutions and the International Society of Virtual Rehabilitation (ISVR). Walter is a scientific advisor and grant reviewer for the U.S. Public Health Service, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), NASA, and the U.S. Department of Education (DoED). He has served as the Principal Investigator for research projects funded by the NIH and by NASA.
Walter founded and served as CEO for Greenleaf Medical Systems, a medical product development company; InWorld Solutions, a company specializing in the therapeutic use of virtual worlds for behavioral health care; and Virtually Better, a company that develops virtual environments for the treatment of phobias, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. Walter was the founding Chief Science Officer for Pear Therapeutics.
Walter is an Associate Editor for three academic journals: JMIR Mental Health, the Journal of Virtual Reality in Medicine, and Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
Current Board Positions:
Walter serves on the Board of Directors for Brainstorm: The Stanford Laboratory for Brain Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship; for Cognitive Leap, a company that develops mental health solutions for children; and for Sine Wave, the developer of Sine Space, a multi-user online Unity 3D-based virtual world platform. He is currently the technology and neuroscience advisor to several early-stage medical product companies.
Walter earned a Doctorate in Neuro and Bio-Behavioral Sciences from the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he was awarded a NIMH Graduate Fellowship.
Executive Director and Founder
Robert is the Executive Director and Founder of IVRHA (International Virtual Reality and Healthcare Association).
In 2009, Robert started Cool Blue Media by organizing the first social media conference on the east coast of the United States, leading to the publication of the text book, "The Big Book of Social Media Case Studies, Stories and Perspectives" and shortly thereafter the only printed magazine covering social media, The Social Media Monthly. In May 2016, he launched VRVoice.co, a content vertical exploring virtual reality in the enterprise. In 2017, Robert started the largest annual conference on virtual reality and healthcare with events taking place both in the US and Europe.
Prior to 2009, Robert was the Senior Director of Global Strategy and Development of IT at Conservation International (CI). Robert joined CI in 2000 to take responsibility for connecting all of CI’s forty field offices to the Internet with broadband connectivity. During his 10 year tenure, he built an international staff of 25 IT professionals.
Robert has over ten years of additional work experience as a systems and sales engineer with various companies including CMGI, Hughes Network Systems, ioWave and Raytheon. Robert has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University, a master’s degree in environmental science and public policy from Johns Hopkins University, and is ABD at George Mason University.
Location To Be Announced
with Ross O'Brien, Co-Founder of the UK XR Health Alliance
and Nick Peres, UK NHS Consultant
and Aislinn Bergin, University of Nottingham Researcher
Dr. Kimberly Hieftje
NOTE: If you are having trouble finding a hotel, please reach out to us on the messenger in the corner.
Radisson Blu Hotel
NH Lisboa Campo Grande
SANA Metropolitan Hotel
Lisbon Marriott Hotel
Holiday Inn Lisbon - Continental
If you have questions about tickets, sponsorship or anything else related to the event, please feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at +1-202-684-6207.
The International Virtual Reality and Healthcare Association (IVRHA) is a member driven organization comprised of entities throughout the healthcare ecosystem, including technology companies, teaching hospitals and universities, as well as healthcare providers and insurance companies. IVRHA’s mission is to facilitate and support the growth of the virtual reality in health and life sciences. Visit: https://ivrha.org/
The conference will follow local guidelines as stipulated by the City of Lisbon, Portugal and the Radisson Blu Hotel as it relates to the management of COVID-19.
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