KarunaHome Functional Rehabilitation Program Whitepaper:
Clinical Evidence

Karuna Labs Inc. has developed the Karuna Virtual Embodiment Training™ (KVET™) system to address the need for alternative, non-invasive, non-pharmalogical methods to treat chronic pain. KVET™ uses a combination of movement sensors and embodied avatars that provide visual feedback during chronic pain functional rehabilitation. Our key innovation is the application of virtual reality (VR) to perform exposure therapy in a cognitive behavioral therapy protocol designed to treat chronic pain through neurocognitive retraining. Karuna Labs utilizes sensory reprocessing done through virtual reality and behavioral health coaching to unlearn chronic pain patterns.

Research Pipeline


Penn Medicine

A randomized controlled trial on patients with chronic low back pain

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Michael Ashburn, MD, MPH, MBA.
Director, Pain Medicine and Palliative Care Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Karuna Labs

A randomized controlled trial on KarunaHOME for patients with general chronic shoulder pain 

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Michael Trujillo, PhD
VP of Clinical Affairs, Karuna Labs


Inpatient Trial: PRISM (Pain Relief with Individualized brain StiMulation)

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Prasad Shirvalkar, MD, PhD
Neurologist and Pain Medicine Specialist UCSF Dept. of Anesthesia

Georgia State University

Validation and feasibility of KarunaHOME for use in physical therapy

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Sujay Galen, PhD
Chair, Department of Physical Therapy, Georgia State University

Clinical Evidence on VR and Rehabilitation


Journal articles *



controlled trials *


Meta-analyses articles *

*Searched by Karuna Labs, Inc. March 2021

Select Peer-Reviewed Research

DESIGN Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

An 8-week self-administered at-home behavioral skills-based virtual reality program for chronic low back pain: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted during COVID-19

Self-administered VR therapy for chronic pain improves pain intensity and pain-related interference with activity, mood, and stress

DESIGN Randomized controlled trial

Virtual reality for management of pain in hospitalized patients: A randomized comparative effectiveness trial

VR significantly reduces pain versus an active control condition in hospitalized patients (N = 120; 61 VR; 59 Control)

DESIGN Randomized controlled trial

Virtual reality distraction induces hypoalgesia in patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial

Virtual reality had large significant effect in reducing sensitivity to pain in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain   (N = 84; 42 VR; 42 control)

DESIGN Randomized controlled trial

Effect of fully immersive virtual reality treatment combined with exercise in fibromyalgia patients: a randomized controlled trial

Immersive VR significantly improved pain, kinesiophobia, fatigue, physical activity and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients

DESIGN Experimental

Altered visual feedback from an embodied avatar unconsciously influences movement amplitude and muscle activity

Visual augmentation in VR induced compensation and unconscious motor adaptation

DESIGN Experimental

Body movement reduces pain intensity in virtual reality–based analgesia

Moving in immersive virtual reality increases the analgesic effects of VR

DESIGN Feasibility

Virtual reality as a therapy adjunct for fear of movement in veterans with chronic pain: single-arm feasibility study

Findings support the feasibility of VR as an adjunct for Veterans with chronic pain.