“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
“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
“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
“Cerevrum is building an ambitious educational platform starting with training people to become better public speakers with Speech Center.
The app is designed to help people get over their fears of public speaking, but there are many other educational learning opportunities from a number of upcoming courses featuring public speaking coaches.”
By Kent Bye at Voices of VR Podcast via Road to VR
“Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has developed the world’s first fully interactive virtual reality medical training simulator, allowing users simulate emergency room management of a patient following a road traffic accident.
The RCSI VR Medical Training Sim app puts medical professionals and trainees in the shoes of the Emergency Department trauma team leader where they must assess the patient, make life or death decisions in real time and perform life-saving operative procedures as a surgeon would in a real emergency room.
RCSI has become the first higher education institution in the world to release a VR surgical training application on the publicly available platform, furthering its commitment to exploring new technologies to enhance education.
This new technology makes simulated training available in a mobile form, making it more accessible and affordable for trainees when access to high-end surgical simulators is not possible.”
Image and text by Newstalk