Who We Are
XRSI’s Medical XR Advisory Council brings together thought leaders, healthcare experts, and visionaries to identify business opportunities and help develop innovative and trustworthy content for doctors, researchers, and healthcare professionals. The purpose of this collaboration is to establish a basis upon which to foster and improve the safety of the medical XR ecosystem from cybersecurity and privacy threats.
Well known as the “Cyber Guardian”, founder of the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI), Kavya Pearlman is an award-winning cybersecurity professional with a deep interest in immersive and emerging technologies. Kavya is constantly exploring new technologies to solve current cybersecurity challenges. She is one of the Top 50 speakers in the cybersecurity industry and named Top 20 Cybersecurity influencers for three consecutive years 2018-2019-2020 by IFSEC Global. Kavya has won many awards for her work and contribution to the security community including:
- Cybersecurity Woman of the Year 2020 by Cybersecurity Excellence Award Series
- Cybersecurity Professional of the Year 2020 by Cybersecurity Excellence Award Series
- Most Influential Cyber Security Leader 2020 by Acquisition International
- 40 under 40 Top Business Executives 2019 by San Francisco Business Times
- Rising Star of the year 2019 by Women in IT Award Series
- CISO Women Security Leader award from Middle East CISO Council
- Minority CISO of the Year 2018 by International Consortium of Minorities Cybersecurity Professional (ICMCP)
Kavya has previously advised Facebook on third party security risks during the 2016 US presidential elections and worked as the head of security for the oldest existing virtual world “Second Life” by Linden Lab. Kavya constantly shares knowledge via webinars, conference talks and blog posts around Application Security, Cloud-native technologies, Machine Learning and immersive technologies such as XR.
Kavya holds a master’s degree network security from DePaul University, Chicago and many prestigious Information Security certifications including CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) from ISACA, and PCIP for Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council.
Kavya is truly passionate about her work and inspires many around the world including women and underrepresented communities in security and emerging technologies. Kavya is a board of directors for EM360, non-profit “Minorities in Cybersecurity”, an advisory board member for "CISO Council North America", Spark Mindset LLC, and cybersecurity advisory board member for the University of New Haven.
Rachel Michelson is a Medical XR Advisor at XRSI, helping to remove obstacles in incorporating Extended Reality into regulated ecosystems like healthcare while keeping technology safe, secure, ethical, and inclusive. Rachel's specific focus is on cybersecurity.
Rachel's experience is a potent combination of software development for public safety, followed by cybersecurity evaluation of medical and other IoT devices. This allows her to see the trade-offs of a cybersecurity risk management from multiple angles. As an evaluator, Rachel strives for solutions that are fully compliant to the best industry standards. As a hands-on software developer, she is used to operating within practical constraints of legacy components, limited device resources, budget, and prioritization challenges facing a manufacturer and an integrator alike, Rachel spent 20 years at Motorola, mostly working on adding security (audio and data encryption and authentication) into multiple components of Motorola's two-way radio systems for public safety. She traversed the technical ladder from a software developer to a software architect. Rachel has led her products through FIPS 140-2 certification and other regulatory approvals. To build upon this experience, Rachel then joined UL to evaluate other manufacturers' medical devices against appropriate standards, such as IEC 62304 and UL 2900. This includes device testing and documentation and corporate processes reviews alike. Rachel is fascinated by an opportunity to witness and perhaps influence multiple designs from both established and up-and-coming technology vendors.
Rachel holds a Bachelor's degree in computer engineering from MIT and a Master's degree in the same discipline from National Technological University (currently Walden University, one of the first online universities). Rachel volunteers with MIT's Educational Council.
Walter Greenleaf is a research scientist, trained in Neuro and Behavioral Science, and a medical product developer, with a specific focus on virtual reality and digital health technology. He's been active in developing Clinical Virtual Reality Systems for more than 30 years.
He recently served as the Director of the Mind Division, Stanford Center on Longevity, and he's currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s MediaX Program and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. In addition to his work at Stanford, he is SVP of Strategic & Corp. Affairs to MindMaze and Chief Science Advisor to Pear Therapeutics. He is a VR technology and neuroscience advisor to several early-stage medical product companies.
His doctoral research at Stanford in Neuro & Behavioral Science focused on the interaction between hormones and human behavior. While working on his dissertation, he founded the first of several successful medical product companies. He has since maintained this dual-role in academics and business – lecturing, conducting research and publishing, while concurrently developing and bringing medical products to market.
As a pioneer that has remained active in the development of medical applications of Virtual Reality Technology, he also frequently contributes to the field as a keynote speaker, as an editor for a leading journal, and as a conference organizer.
In behavioral medicine, he has developed and helped bring to market systems for the treatment of PTSD, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and addictions.
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.
Michelle L. Aebersold
Michelle L. Aebersold
Dr. Aebersold’s professional and academic career is focused on advancing the science of learning applied in simulation to align clinician and student practice behaviors with research evidence to improve learner and health outcomes. She focuses her scholarship in both high fidelity and virtual reality simulation and is a national leader and expert in simulation. Her scholarship has culminated in developing the Simulation Model to Improve Learner and Health Outcomes (SMILHO).
XRSI’s Medical XR Adviser, Michelle Aebersold is a Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. Currently, Dr. Aebersold is involved with various research projects including:
- MOSST Chemotherapy Safety
- We Heart VR
- Augmented Reality to Improve Stroke Care
- Improving Nursing Students' Resilience to Bullying Behavior
- IMPACTS – Improving Pediatric Acute Care through Simulation Training
- Closing the loop: new data tools for measuring the change in the quality of nursing education and the value of new approaches to instruction (PI) University of Michigan School of Nursing.
Her interests include:
- Virtual reality
- Augmented reality
- Serious games
- Innovative education methods
- Patient safety
Callie has launched and operated innovation labs, accelerators, and hackathons for organizations that include the United States Department of Defense, NYU, Amazon, and the Tri-Institutional Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, The Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She coached 100+ early-stage digital health entrepreneurs on their path towards growth and fundraising and went on to launch a co-working space’s new location in NYC. Callie’s passion for immersive technology inspired her work developing a collaboration tool for virtual reality during her fellowship at Oculus Launchpad in 2018.
Sarah has spent her career working across the interdisciplinary arts, academia, healthcare and technology as a producer, curator, artist and researcher. She graduated from the University of Kent with a First Class Honours in Anthropology with a Year in Japan BSc. Following her degree, she worked with the NHS before moving into contemporary art, worked with organizations including Fabrica Gallery, Lighthouse, The School of Life, The Big Anxiety Festival and Stanford University.
In May 2019 she founded Hatsumi, a research and design studio exploring the intersection of arts, health and immersive technology. We work with patients, artists, researchers and healthcare professionals to develop experiences that challenge how we think and feel about the world and imagine the future of health and wellbeing. She is the producer on Deep, a meditative VR experience controlled by breathing, and the Healthcare Lead for Immerse UK, working to support a community of UK XR healthcare practitioners and find ways that creative technologists, researchers, and healthcare practitioners can work together to create a sustainable future for XR in healthcare.
Laura has more than 30 years of software and product development and compliance engineering experience, grounded in several decades of senior leadership roles with R&D and Manufacturing organizations including Medical Devices, Commercial, and Consumer Electronics companies. She has a rich history in compliance engineering holding positions at CSA Group as Senior Manager of Cybersecurity, supporting several industry verticals including Healthcare with cybersecurity testing, security standards compliance, and market access for IoT solutions. Prior to joining the CSA Group, she served as the Cybersecurity Practice Lead for UL’s Digital Health Service team, supporting medical device software and solutions customers in meeting regulatory and business imperatives for software and cybersecurity assurance. Laura holds a BSEE from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and an MSEE from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and is currently pursuing a Graduate Degree in Computer Science with a focus on cybersecurity. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois and holds the RAC credential from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.
Laura Élan has joined XRSI as a Medical XR Advisor supporting the Medical XR Advisory Board with software, cybersecurity, and regulatory topics specific to XR solutions and ecosystems.
What We Stand For
XRSI’s Medical XR Advisory Council is committed to building the strategies and resources necessary to help healthcare solution providers, health delivery organizations, and regulators organizations leverage XR to be more successful. The council also collaborates with agencies like FDA, WHO, CDC, and other industry advisory councils to further study the positive as well as the undesirable consequences of XR adoption within the medical ecosystems. Together, we are working to:
- Discuss and explore Medical XR innovation opportunities.
- Increase awareness for safe and accelerated adoption of immersive technologies across the healthcare ecosystem.
- Support creation, development, and adoption of safety, cybersecurity, and privacy in emerging technologies
- Anticipate and mitigate risks while fostering integrating of XR technology with other tech solutions.
- Identify, mitigate, and prevent cybersecurity and privacy threats to medical XR (Virtual Reality, extended reality, and mixed reality) devices, technology platforms and processes.
Why are we needed?
The use of XR technologies in healthcare is changing lives. However, it is introducing novel risks and challenges. The traditional definitions of PII and PHI will have to be enhanced to include new types of data generated by XR. These assets’ confidentiality, integrity, availability, privacy, and ethical use must be explored. Consider, for instance, the following: VR/AR methods of training, diagnosis, and treatment could entail the creation, storage, and manipulation of the subject’s image (or images of a part of that individual’s body). The question we must ask- is – What waivers will the subject need to provide and who will have the rights to that image?
- We HAVE to ask who will be liable if the virtual assistance tool malfunctions and ends up being a hindrance rather than a help to surgery or if, due to an inherent defect or misuse (or even a cyberattack). What if the therapeutic VR environment makes a patient’s schizophrenia worse, not better?
- Inevitably, patient data will be stored and created. Will it be stored securely? Who will have access to it? How does the patient even GIVE the requisite informed consent to such storage and creation? What happens when the data includes Brainwaves and thought patterns?
XRSI’s Medical XR Advisory Council helps healthcare organizations and stakeholders identify, mitigate, and prevent cybersecurity and privacy threats to medical XR (Virtual Reality, extended reality, and mixed reality) devices, technology platforms and processes.
How We’re Making an Impact
As demand for data-driven analytics increases across all aspects of business, artificial intelligence is opening more doors and helping companies achieve better results, faster. XRSI’s Medical XR Advisory Council develops best practices, use cases and other resources that can be used by anyone developing, utilizing or influencing Medical XR solutions.