Harnessing virtual reality for mental health

Nowadays, technology is present in most of the circumstances and situations we live in on a daily basis.

At home or in the office we can find countless technological devices that make our routine more bearable.

Virtual reality, on the other hand, has also become a great and effective tool.

Not only can it be used in the leisure and entertainment sector, where it is very popular, but it can also be used as a kind of support in the field of health.

Although it may seem a little hard to believe, virtual reality glasses play a great role when it comes to healthcare.

Rehabilitators, psychologists and even physicians are some of the health professionals who include them among their work implements, such as an endoscope or thermometer.

One of the main characteristics of this product is that the patient’s mood is not affected by the difficult situation in which he/she finds him/herself.

This is thanks to the mental stimulation he must perform to keep himself distracted and immersed in a kind of new world.

Virtual reality is used in the treatment of oncology patients, those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit, phobias and fears such as claustrophobia, agoraphobia, among many other pathologies.

Mental health and virtual reality

Since a couple of years ago, the benefits and advantages obtained from the use of virtual reality have been proven and accepted, thus achieving its use in various clinical treatments for pathologies such as phobias or fears, for example.

The process is simple: the patient is exposed in a gradual and controlled way to the situation or element that provokes the fear, in an environment that seems totally real. In this way the psychologist can appreciate first hand the reactions and obtain concrete results. Currently there are applications for the treatment of mental problems such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Its success lies in the fact that, through Smartphones and Tablets, it has become much more economical and accessible.

In this sense, virtual reality allows much faster progress as it achieves greater concentration on the part of patients and any minimum effort is seen as a great action, creating stimuli.

Psychiatrists have also tested virtual reality glasses on adults with mild to moderate attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by placing them in a scenario where it is easy to practice relaxation, breathing and concentration exercises without any distractions.

Very useful in chemotherapy.

Virtual reality helmets have also been used in the treatment of cancer patients, where positive responses have been obtained in terms of tolerance and even low emotional disturbance.

Its effectiveness is based on patients being stimulated and surrounded by environments that block negative thoughts, distract the mind and awareness of where they are and what is going to be done to them, and decrease anxiety levels.

The sessions are performed just before chemotherapy because by reducing anxiety, symptoms and conditioning such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness are avoided, which makes the situation more bearable.

Solution at your fingertips

At TwoReality we specialize in the development of software and applications for virtual or augmented reality, three-dimensional (3D) content and 360º videos, with which it is possible to turn any negative situation into a totally positive experience for both patients and their families.

With 360º videos, for example, people who must remain hospitalized for treatment or surgery can be at home to chat and share with their family and friends, without leaving their bed in the clinic or hospital. TwoReality applications result in an immersive experience as they support highly realistic calls or videoconferences, where patients can feel at home just by wearing virtual reality headsets or goggles. Everything adjusted to the needs of customers and users.
From TwoReality we continue to create the best content and applications for different devices. Tell us about your project.

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Dr. Gianluigi Cetto

  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology – College of Science and Technology – Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Director of the School of Specialization in Oncology of the University of Verona. Director of the 2nd level Master in Palliative Medicine.
  • Appointed Professor Emeritus of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
  • Member of the European task-force (EAPC steering committee) for Medical Training in Palliative Care.
  • Member of the Regional Bioethics Committee of the Veneto Region, Italy.

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