Oxford VR, a spin-out company of Oxford University, has developed an automated virtual reality programme which can help people conquer their fear of heights.
The programme features a virtual therapist called Nic, who coaches people through various challenges like picking apples or rescuing a cat from a tree.
The results of the first trial, published on Thursday, are extremely positive.
Dr Daniel Freeman hopes that using virtual reality will improve accessibility for people seeking treatment.
A fear of heights is one the most common phobias. One in five people experience a fear of heights at some point in their lives, and for one in 20 it’s a clinical phobia.
Dr Daniel Freeman is a professor of clinical psychology and has been working on the integration of VR for therapeutic purposes since 2001, when he began researching whether VR could be useful in treating paranoia.
Now he has developed a programme of VR exposure therapy with Oxford VR, a spin-out company from Oxford University. It’s principally funded by OSI, which specialises scaling ideas from the university. Significantly, the programme uses a fully automated virtual therapist, named Nic (which stands for “Now I Can”) who can walk people through the programme and tailor the user’s experience accordingly.
The programme …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Technology