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Virtual reality startups BehaVR and OxfordVR have merged and raised $13 million in Series B funding to develop treatments for anxiety and chronic pain that, while promising, remain at the fringes of health care.

The new company will use the funding, led by Optum Ventures and Oxford Science Enterprises, to advance its technology pipeline. Founded in 2016, BehaVR is currently pursuing multiple avenues for commercializing therapeutic virtual reality, including partnerships with Japanese drugmaker Sumitomo Pharma and musculoskeletal care conglomerate Confluent Health.


Aaron Gani, the CEO of BehaVR, said this highlights the business potential for digital treatments that wrap around clinical services of providers and “change their care model economics,” by improving outcomes and increasing efficiency. Pitching digital therapeutics as a way to support care models that already have reliable businesses could be a wise strategy, given the significant challenges companies face seeking reimbursement for software-based treatments from payers which remain skeptical.

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