The Fund for Montefiore Einstein

"When people power people, we enable innovation."

The power of technology

Dr. Matthew Bartels spends much of his working day exploring new methods to help reduce pain. "A person's experience of pain is affected not just by neurological pain generators," he says, "but also by emotional and psychological factors. Studies show that distracting a patient with other stimuli - for example, through virtual reality - can help block certain pain receptors in the brain." Dr. Bartels recognized this research as an innovative tool for patient care. He partnered with Dr. Yuxi Chen, his colleague at Montefiore Einstein, on researching young cerebral palsy patients who receive botulinum toxin (Botox) treatments to help improve muscle function. Administering the treatments, which can involve up to 20 shots, is distressing for everyone involved. "In the past, we often had to sedate these young patients - a complex, expensive procedure with accompanying side effects. We've found that using a virtual reality headset, which exposes children to pleasent images, really helps distract them."

Less pain - and less cost

Dr. Bartels and his team conducted their initial research using both a high-end virtual reality headset and an inexpensive Google Cardboard head mount. To their surprise, the patients preferred the Google option. "The Cardboard headset, which connects to a cell phone, only costs a few dollars," he says. "As a result, we can also make the technology available to parents who may need to administer treatments at home. And since the technology replaces expensive, invasive procedures, we're able to reduce the stress associated with administering the injections at a fraction of the cost."

The Fund for Montefiore Einstein makes compassionate care happen.

Montefiore Einstein's commitment to benefit humanity extends across every dimension of our comprehensive service offering - from scientific research and community-based health initiatives to innovative models of education. Your contribution to The Fund for Montefiore Einstein plays and essential role in helping us embody excellence, serve our community, and foster the thousands of human connections that students, faculty, and staff members like Dr. Bartels make with patients and caregivers each day.

By giving today, you power a better tomorrow.

Who's your Dr. Bartels? Donate in honor of someone who has powered you.

Dr. Matthew Bartels has dedicated his career to discovering cost-effective advances in treatment that improve the quality of life for patients. Who in your life has powered you? Make a donation in that person's honor, and we'll let him or her know of your generosity.