Researchers at the Oxford University have stated that virtual reality can be used efficiently to treat severe paranoia that is people suffering from fear from various things such as heights or crowded places. Employing high tech VR gadgets and headsets and relative Virtual Reality content which can successfully and completely immerse users in VR while keeping a tab on their movements, a team of professionals named virtually placed a few paranoia patients in VR environments which recreated crowded places such as cramped train compartments and elevators.
The experience wasn’t completely a smooth one however when patients were subjected to such environments in a controlled and contained setting they were able to practice control and how to deal with such situations in a risk free environment.
In the tests that were performed the patients were strapped in a Virtual Reality headset and were made to experience the inside of a tube train using a train simulation application. The environment inside the train was supposedly set to become more and more jam packed by the passing session to help the patients learn to cope with the environments slowly eliminating the fears.
Dr Katherine Adcock studying patients of paranoia from the Medical Research Council, the organization which funded the study, goes on to explain in detail that “There is a lot of work to be done in testing the approach in treating delusions but this study shows a new way forward.” Virtual Reality surely has great potential in the medical field in the near future.