Empathy-based virtual reality training a ‘game changer’ for police (incl. video)

“A new virtual reality (VR) training program is giving police officers the chance to virtually stand in someone else’s shoes.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has launched a program to provide empathy-based training by simulating scenarios with people who are experiencing mental health issues.

Trainees use a VR headset to enter into a virtual world where they will have access to three different modules: autism, schizophrenia and suicide prevention.”

By John Lesavage/CBC News

Image & Video: Associated Press

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/halton-police-virtual-reality-1.5376107

Australian School Becomes First to Teach Greek With Virtual Reality (incl. video)

“The Melbourne-based Pedia Greek School has set a new precedent in the language learning community with an immersive program that teaches students using virtual reality.

In conjunction with the company ImmerseMe — which provides the virtual reality modules — the school is providing students with a virtual environment where they “immerse” themselves in everyday social situations and practice Greek conversation skills.

The Pedia Greek School is Australia’s first community language school to create such a program.”

Image & video by ImmerseMe

By Darden Livesay at Pappaspost.com

Read more: https://www.pappaspost.com/australian-greek-school-virtual-reality/

The weirdest VR experience yet could make you happier (incl. video)

“A new study asked participants to play the role of virtual therapist for themselves—and the results suggest that VR could be an effective therapeutic device for some people.

[The] study, conducted at the University of Barcelona by VR researchers and clinical psychologists … found that immediately after body swapping with Freud and counseling themselves in virtual reality, about 80% of the 29 participants reported feeling like they had a different perspective on their problem and that this would result in a change in the way they dealt with it.

Mel Slater, a professor at the University of Barcelona, co-director of the Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology Lab, and the lead author of the paper [says] “The critical difference with the body swapping is you can think about it as if you’re another person listening to someone else’s problem …. That’s really what makes a difference.”

By Katherine Schwab at Fastcompany.com

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90389617/the-weirdest-vr-experience-yet-could-make-you-happier

Virtual Reality Helps Dementia Patients Recall Memories (incl. video)

“Virtual reality (VR) therapy may vastly improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, a small new study from the University of Kent, U.K., has found.

Specifically, researchers found that exposing people with dementia to virtual reality environments helped them recall old memories, reduced aggression and improved their interactions with caregivers.

“VR can clearly have positive benefits for patients with dementia, their families, and caregivers. It provides a richer and more satisfying quality of life than is otherwise available, with many positive outcomes,” explains Dr. Jim Ang, PhD, one of the study’s researchers.”

By Jill Provost for BeingPatient.com

Image & video by Being Patient

Read more: https://www.beingpatient.com/virtual-reality-therapy-alzheimers-dementia/

Social workers are using VR to experience the lives of children in care (incl. video)

“A trial conducted by social enterprise The Cornerstone Partnership has yielded promising results in enabling social care workers to better understand the trauma of children in care.

A year-long trial that saw virtual reality programs implemented across multiple local authorities and social care organisations in the UK has shown that immersive VR experiences used in social care training enabled frontline staff to gain a better understanding of the trauma and neglect children in care have experienced.

This, in turn, led to improvements in the communication between children and their carers.”

Image & video by VISYON

By Ben Sullivan at the Big Issue

Read more: https://www.bigissue.com/latest/social-workers-are-using-vr-to-experience-the-lives-of-children-in-care/

Virtual reality PTSD therapy demonstrated at Glenrose Hospital (incl. video)

“Virtual reality therapy for post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) was demonstrated at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton HiMARC’s Motion-Assisted Multi-Modal Memory Desensitization and Reconsolidation (3MDR) has patients walk on a treadmill toward the stimulus, sounds and images that may remind them of events that brought on traumatic memories.

The therapist is with them through this experience, guiding, directing and asking them a series of questions as the soldier or veteran confronts these memories.

“It was incredible. I don’t know how else to describe it. My senses were heightened. I was even sensitive to the clanging sound of the carabiner on my harness,” Capt. Anna Harpe said after experiencing the 3MDR system.

By Larry Wong, Edmonton Journal

Read more: https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/watch-virtual-reality-ptsd-therapy-demonstrated-at-glenrose-hospital

Using VR To Replace Pain Medication For Seriously Ill Children (incl. video)

‘Starlight is a well-known charity organization with the mission to create “moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families” through a variety of initiatives [which] include bringing the magic of virtual reality to the hospital.

Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight in an interview with UploadVR [said] “We see children getting immersed in VR during painful medical procedures and the immersive distraction therapy lessens the need for heavy painkillers and anesthesia. VR can even take the place of pain killers in some cases.”

“Just because you’re in the hospital doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to experience the wonder and magic of child life,” says Helfrich.

By David Jagneaux at UploadVR

Image & video by Starlight

Read more: https://uploadvr.com/starlight-vr-replace-pain-medication-children/

Virtual reality can change lives in social care (incl. video)

“Technology now offers many ways of assisting or enhancing care, changing the way in which we support people.

Tricuro [a social care provider owned by Dorset CC, Bournmeouth BC and the Borough of Poole have had] over 100 clients taken through virtual reality experiences across residential and day services … to conduct trials in pain management, wellbeing and structured reminiscence.

Keeping [people] happier and healthier for longer is the goal, and virtual reality and other emerging tech gives new tools to explore new and alternative ways of achieving this.”

By Richard Dolan at Tricuro.

Image and video by Tricuro.

Read more: https://www.lgcplus.com/idea-exchange/tricuro-virtual-reality-can-change-lives-in-social-care/7026969.article

VR Helps Children Combat the Fear Of MRI Scans (incl. video)

“King’s College Hospital [have] created a VR experience to help with the ‎claustrophobic nature of an MRI scan.

Young children are often terrified and traumatised by the procedure and refuse to go into the MRI machine.

In order to lower this fear, a new virtual reality app has been created in the UK. Its aim is to help NHS workers to manage the fears of young children who require medical treatment.”

By Jackie Edwards for VR Focus

Image and video by Vocativ

Read more: https://www.vrfocus.com/2018/10/looking-to-deal-with-the-fear-of-mri-scans-the-nhs-have-turned-to-vr/

Virtual reality helps Chinese medicine students learn acupuncture and doctors treat cancer (incl. video)

“Chinese and Western medicine is being improved by VR applications, with acupuncture students using 3D body maps and surgeons tackling tumours conventional medicine cannot reach.

The innovative programme, which began in May, is teaching students at China’s top Chinese medicine university acupuncture using virtual reality (VR).

Their professor, Cheng Kai, said the system, BodyMap – developed by Augmented Intelligence in the American state of Virginia – can be used both on campus and remotely.”

Video & Image by South China Morning Post

By Elaine YauElaine Yau at South China Morning Post

Read more: https://m.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/article/2169092/virtual-reality-helps-chinese-medicine-students-learn