Tech

Virtual Reality Could Soon Treat Mental Health Illnesses

By Monica U Santos , Mar 03, 2017 03:30 AM EST
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Decades ago, the concept of Virtual Reality (VR) started and it made a bigger appearance in the tech world in 2010. That is when the Oculus Rift was introduced as the first prototype of VR headset innovated by the entrepreneur Palmer Luckey. Today, the computer-generated simulation of 3D gear could soon be used to treat various kinds of mental health illnesses.

VR Could Treat Mental Health Illnesses

According to TimesLive , VR headsets are often connected with video games and entertainment. However, companies are also operating VRs to use them for mental health therapies and to treat phobias, anxiety as well as addictions. "With virtual reality, you can create audiovisual therapies in a safe environment for phobics," said CEO Algirdas Stonys at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

TeleSoftas, a firm headquartered in Lithuania nd develops mobile apps, believes that this exposure therapy can easily be accomplished from the safety of a mental and health professional's room using the headset. So for example, someone who is scared of talking to the public would find himself in front of a crowd, virtually. TeleSoftas has just taken European Union funding to support to develop apps for VR headsets that would be used for relieving mental health problems.

The Spanish start-up company named Psious has been also working on the same concept. The firm focuses on developing apps that could implement by psychotherapists for VR headsets to treat their patients. Psious raised an approximate of a million euros or $1.1 million in 2015, and they provide the technology to a total of 600 doctors, mostly in Spain. As of now, it is currently going through nine clinical cases with universities to get long-term effectivene data.

Mental Health Issues In The US

According to International Business Times, the issues regarding mental health in the US are prevalent. In fact, one out of every five adults are considered to have a mental health issue and one in 10 have had at least one battle with depression. MentalHealth.gov. said that one in 25 adults were diagnosed with a really serious illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

 

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