Due to the current COVID-19 situation, new technologies have been adopted rapidly within the healthcare system. The current pandemic situation has brought new interest in technology-based solutions for health issues. Among various technologies, VR is increasingly being used to help treat mental health issues, like phobias and anxiety disorders.
Virtual reality has been used in phobias treatment for more than 15 years, and it is one of the more established types of medical virtual reality technologies. Virtual reality tech is well-suited to support phobias for treatment. VR enables digital simulations of the fear and phobia stimulus to be shown to a patient in a very controlled environment and can be adjusted based on the patient’s level of treatment. Centers like Virtual Reality Medical Centre in California help many psychological clinics provide VR therapy for different phobias and fear types. NHS hospitals are also in the process of introducing VR for treating phobias.
An upcoming area that is drawing on the principles of virtual reality exposure therapy is in the area of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). PTSD treatments have advanced to a great extent in recent times, and solutions include advanced VR headsets, vibration feedback, directional audio, and smells like cordite and diesel.
Virtual reality has been shown to support cognitive and physical rehabilitation. VR applications are supporting a variety of therapeutic programs, like tracking body movements via virtual reality sensors. These VR systems are being used for treatment as well as for diagnosis and are predicted to pave the way for the early discovery of some mental disorders.