Virtual Reality has finally become a reality and being so close to getting acquainted with the nascent technology, VR shows yet another prospective of its use. Even though VR was originally intended and created for gaming, it shows a tremendous promise in fields other than that. VR in medical world could possibly become a common tool for therapeutic purposes.
VR in medical science, however, is not such a new phenomenon, Therapists and Clinicians in the US have used VR goggles and tools to treat Soldiers who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Also, VR is now intended to be used to treat patients for various kinds of phobias. Chris Brewin a professor of clinical psychology at University College London explains the elaborate use of VR in the Medical world in the coming future. In fact, he even debates and claims to put his money on the fact that VR will soon become an integral part of mental health treatment and psychedelics.
The process of treating patients with VR therapy is known as the “embodiment” and it involves imitating the patient’s body movements using Haptic technology showing them an adult avatar. As explained by Brewin, the key difference between VR therapy and traditional therapy is that embodying people in an avatar in virtual world changes their perception and emotional responses as per their avatar.
Embodying an adult in a child’s avatar their perception changes to more of a child’s than an adult’s which helps to escape their current situation of mind and body.
The therapy, when practiced for a month or so, is known to deliver positive results reducing depression levels in patients. Thus, Virtual Reality with infinite features and benefits surely holds a promising future in spheres other than Gaming.