Identifying the Role of VR Technology in Diagnosing Mental Illnesses

Identifying key use cases for virtual reality technology is not all that easy. Although the possibilities are endless, it is difficult to find something that will gel with a lot of people. It now appears diagnosing mental illnesses can be achieved in virtual reality. Whether or not this will turn into a major use case for the technology, remains to be determined.

Another Medical use Case for VR

Over the past few months, it has become apparent the healthcare industry stands to benefit from virtual reality technology. Numerous trials are being conducted to find new potential use cases in this regard. The latest development comes in the form of diagnosing mental illnesses. VR Can be a surprisingly valuable tool in this regard, primarily because of the realistic simulations it can create.

To diagnose mental illnesses, one needs to recreate specific conditions. When it comes to experiencing provoking specific symptoms, that is easier said than done. With VR technology, that situation becomes very different. It can make diagnoses more objective in the long run, although further research will be needed in this regard. The consistency at which VR can recreate specific scenarios is a big selling point.

In the UK a multi-year research project involving VR is in place. The main purpose of this trial is to utilize VR in an effort to detect Alzheimer’s disease. Although this is just one of the many mental illnesses, identifying the disease at an early stage remains paramount. It offers a welcome change of pace from traditional cognitive testing,

Other potential illnesses to be treated through VR include PTSD, social anxiety, vertigo, ADHD, and even concussions. Especially this latter option can play a  significant role of importance in the sports industry moving forward. As more and more leagues focus on the concussion protocol, any tool to make diagnosis faster and more accurate needs to be embraced.

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By JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a FinTech, VR, and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium.