“Start VR has teamed up with Samsung Australia to introduce virtual reality as a form of “distraction therapy” to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Hospital.
“An immersive virtual reality room that helps children with autism overcome their phobias is now being offered on the NHS.
In 2014, scientists at Newcastle University found that virtual reality can help youngsters with autism spectrum disorder overcome their serious fears.
Now, the first NHS patients have been referred for treatment in what is known as the Newcastle Blue Room.”
By Katie Dickinson at Chronicle Live
“Virtual reality could be used to diagnose and treat visual vertigo, according to a team of Cardiff University psychologists.
People with the condition suffer from dizziness and nausea and often cite places with repetitive visual patterns, such as supermarkets, as the trigger.
A team of psychologists is working to develop virtual environments to help with diagnosis and rehabilitation.”
By Max Evans at BBC News
“It’s not just for immersive gaming that VR has its uses, it is also providing new ways to treat psychological conditions such as PTSD or vertigo.
Now, a new study suggests that phantom limb pain can be eased using augmented reality.
In the augmented reality environment, the patients can see themselves on a screen with a superimposed virtual arm, which is controlled by muscle signals from their arm stump.
The therapy uses augmented reality to visualise the phantom limb, in a similar way to mirror therapy.”
By Rozie Benyon at Science Focus
“Virtual reality is proving to be a viable solution to easing the social anxiety teens with ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome encounter daily.
These teens go through tremendous difficulty developing the social skills to interact with peers and adults in what most consider normal social situations.
The Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas has been successfully improving these teens social anxiety via VR sessions, helping them to make friends and communicate openly.”
Blog by Raphael Konforti at VR Fitness Insider
News report by NBC News Today
“For most people, virtual reality’s promise of transporting us to a different world in a heartbeat is a great novelty. But for those who cannot travel freely, it’s a lifeline.
Sonya Kim, a physician in the San Francisco Bay area, has been taking virtual-reality headsets to seniors as a part of their medical treatment. Her therapy program, Aloha VR, lets seniors use the headsets to bring variety into their days, relax and provide a chance to get away to a virtual tropical locale.
High-tech and seniors may not go together in many people’s minds. But virtual reality is actually just the latest in technologies helping them.”
By Hayley Tsukayama at The Washington Post
“Veterans and active duty military members are using virtual reality to relive the worst moments of their life in an innovative counseling program being offered for free at the University of Central Florida’s PTSD Clinic.
“It’s a very intense program but the advantage is that we can really take care of this disorder and treat this disorder thoroughly and effectively in a short period of time,” said Dr. Deborah Beidel, the founder of UCF Restores, a program that uses a combination of counseling and exposure therapy to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Iraq War veteran Bruce Chambers was one of the first patients to go through the therapy.”
By Dana Jay at WOFL FOX 35
“Scenarios involving spiders – so many spiders, crawling all over you – heights, public transport and crowds are being tested or are already available to download and use … at Australia’s first specialist, virtual-reality phobia treatment clinic, which recently opened in Sydney.
Meanwhile a large number of research groups are investigating potential uses for the new technology.
A London-based project for example is exploring using train-station simulations to treat social anxiety. The simulated patrons can even be programmed to turn and stare at the user – helpful for treating paranoia.”
By Liam Mannix at The Sydney Morning Herald
Image: Ignis VR
“At USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies Albert “Skip” Rizzo and his team are using virtual reality — a technology in the midst of booming growth — to help combat veterans fully process and recover from PTSD.
In Rizzo’s “Bravemind” program, patients revisit painful memories in a VR setting, under the care of a trained therapist. This sense memory allows them to access the memory clearly and, in doing so, to fully process it.
It’s a revolutionary type of exposure therapy that has so far netted promising results.”
BY STEVE BRAMUCCI at Uproxx.com
“Just a few years ago, virtual reality headsets were futuristic, space-age stuff.
Now, this immersive technology has transcended video games and is being used to help people as they recover from injuries, surgeries, pain and disease, and mental health disorders.
The relative accessibility of virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, which was released earlier this year, patients are now poised to receive interactive healthcare benefits.”
By Wendy Joan Biddlecombe at Hopefulheadlines.org