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Tag: virtual reality

Researchers Developing Mixed Reality Naloxone Training to Combat Opioid Overdose Deaths

Article Excerpt: OSF Healthcare (OSF), a not-for-profit healthcare organization, has announced this week a new partnership with Illinois State University (ISU) and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) to utilize mixed-reality technology to create an immersive training program designed to help combat opioid overdose deaths. The partnership is based on the development of an Illinois Innovation Network-funded education project called Virtual Reality Embedded Naloxone Training (VENT). The work centers around the development of mixed-use or augmented reality (AR) education for an immersive, engaging approach to train people on how to administer naloxone — which serves as a safe and effective antidote for suspected opioid overdoses. OSF noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made naloxone nasal spray available over the counter in March as part of a strategy that includes harm reduction through innovation and education.

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Article Source: Auganix


Immersive VR Headsets to Improve Mental Health Services

Article Excerpt: Research finds that therapy through VR headsets can achieve better mental health outcomes up to two to three times faster than traditional treatments. Along with cutting NHS wait times, these VR (virtual reality) headsets can also improve access to services and reduce the severity of some mental health condition symptoms.

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Article Source: Open Access Government


How Virtual Reality Is Solving Some Real Health Care Problems

Article Excerpt: Virtual reality is becoming a real-world health tool for everything from chronic pain and behavioral health problems on Earth to medical training for astronauts in space… Like the entire VR industry, health care’s version has made significant strides in recent years. Gone are the cheesy graphics and poor user experience of even just a few years ago, companies told Axios at the HLTH Conference in Las Vegas this week.
“When people say, ‘Yeah, it’s been many years since they’ve tried VR,’ it’s like, ‘No, you haven’t tried VR,'” said Luke Farkas, director of brand and marketing at BehaVR, a Kentucky-based company focused on behavioral health.

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Article Source: Axios


Can VR Act as A Digital Therapeutic?

Article Excerpt: Our digital, two-dimensional lives leave little room for focus. Our eyes dart from screen to screen over the course of the day as notifications and messages draw our attention away from tasks, from relaxation, from the faces of our loved ones. Through all of its flatness, our digital lives are dominated by distraction—so much so that we can sometimes forget to breathe. Finding lasting inner peace from within this flattened world can be a neurological nightmare. Mindfulness and meditation apps, digital health’s answer in the last decade, use many of the same engagement methods that have propelled other consumer applications like games and fitness apps to success. Strategies like achievements and social connectivity have kept many users coming back to engage in evidence-based, clinically effective therapies. But even the most effective and engaging mindfulness apps can’t transcend the noise and distraction of our everyday lives.

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Article Source: Fast Company


IU Researcher Creates Virtual Reality Experiences to Aid Substance Use Disorder Recovery

Article Excerpt: Indiana University researchers are combining psychological principles with innovative virtual reality technology to create a new immersive therapy for people with substance use disorders. They’ve recently received over $4.9 million from the National Institutes of Health and launched an IU-affiliated startup company to test and further develop the technology. Led by Brandon Oberlin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine, IU researchers have built a virtual environment using “future-self avatars” to help people recover from substance use disorders.

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Article Source: IU Research Impact


Why VR Could Be the New Dawn of Pain, Anxiety Management

Article Excerpt: Experts think virtual reality (VR) can help address the country’s rising levels of pain and anxiety. By flooding the brain with positive signals, VR experiences can act as a drug-free alternative to pain and mental health management — and hospitals across the nation are deploying the technology.

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Article Source: MedCityNews


Virtual Reality Could Completely Transform Mental Health—if We’re Ready

Article Excerpt: Virtual reality has quickly moved past its reputation as a niche video game console that nauseated its users (literally). Today’s VR is sleek, with capabilities once considered inconceivable—fully realized avatars that emote and cry; naturalistic scenery; and the ability to interact exclusively with one’s bare hands, no controllers involved. Proponents see a household use for VR, whether in the form of the so-called (and still ill-defined) “metaverse,” or simply as a way to connect with family and work on yourself. Some researchers have found the technology to be especially potent at solving mental health issues like anxiety, addiction, and social isolation. Today’s virtual reality startups are in the game of creating and perfecting illusions to help users cope with reality, not disconnect from it.

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Article Source: The Daily Best


Virtual Reality Behavioral Activation for Adults With Major Depressive Disorder: Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial

Paul M, Bullock K, Bailenson J. Virtual Reality Behavioral Activation for Adults With Major Depressive Disorder: Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Ment Health 2022;9(5):e35526 DOI: 10.2196/35526

This pilot study tested the feasibility and acceptability of using virtual reality (VR) in behavioral activation (BA) by supporting engagement in pleasant activities for adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were recruited via flyers at the Stanford School of Medicine and enrolled if they were 18 or older, English-speaking, and met criteria for major depressive disorder. Using a randomized controlled study design, participants (N=13) were assigned to one of three arms: treatment as usual (n=4), VR BA (n=5), and traditional BA (n=4). Participants assigned to the VR BA and traditional BA groups met with the project director over Zoom four times over three weeks to receive BA therapy. The first session focused on establishing rapport, identifying pleasant activities, and setting activity goals. The traditional BA participants were provided a list of activities and asked to schedule real-life activities, while the VR BA arm were provided a VR headset and asked to choose VR activities. Session two and three included reviewing the activity log and checking in on participants’ goals. During session four, treatment and skills were reviewed, and participants provided feedback. Results demonstrated that the VR BA intervention is feasible and the majority (87%) of participants reported high levels of acceptability. On average, participants in the VR BA and traditional BA arms adhered to the homework assignment of completing at least 4 activities weekly (mean=7.22 activities weekly); however, only 20% of individuals in the VR BA arm completed the questionnaire following each VR activity. Additionally, VR BA participants reported reduced depression severity (mean difference of PHQ-9 = -5.67). The traditional BA arm reported the mean PHQ-9 scores reduced by 3.00 and the control arm did not reduce PHQ-9 scores (mean difference = 0.25). The findings of this study indicate VR BA is feasible for supporting treatment among adults with Major Depressive Disorder who often have difficulty accessing real-life activities. Future research should explore VR BA as Major Depressive Disorder treatment in adequately powered randomized controlled trials.


Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain?

Article Excerpt: Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the world. By some measures, 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, in part because the power of medicine to relieve it remains inadequate. Helen Ouyang, a physician and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, explores the potentially groundbreaking use of virtual reality in the alleviation of acute pain, as well as anxiety and depression, and meets the doctors and entrepreneurs who believe this “nonpharmacological therapy” is a good alternative to prescription drugs. Ouyang explains virtual reality’s rise as an unlikely tool for solving the “intractable problem” of pain, but she also highlights those set to benefit financially from the treatment: The virtual reality sector in health care alone is, according to some estimates, already valued at billions of dollars, and is expected to grow by multiples of that in the next few years.

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Article Source: The New York Times Magazine