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07/mei/2021

Virtual Reality is becoming a great tool for exposure therapy. Recent studies experiemented with different samples of patients with eating disorders and population without eating disorders to which they are exposed to virtual reality environments and stimuli. The end results showed that people who were in the exposure therapy and used VR had more control over their anxiety levels and hence showed more positive and effective results altogether. The studies also showed that using VR helped in prevention of binge eating behavior in patients with bulimia and binge eating disorder.

Created by Psious, there are several VR simulations patients can enter to confront their issues with body image. One of which is the ‘dressing room’ simulation, in which the patient sees a virtual avatar of themself in undergarments. The patient then uses a set of controls to alter the body appearance of the avatar to establish their self-perceived body image. The therapist is then able to insert a virtual image based on the patient’s body measurements to portray the discrepancy between the patient’s perception of their own body, and their actual dimensions.

Another simulation offered takes place in a restaurant setting, where the patient simulates ordering and eating a meal. The scenario is customizable, with menu options including low-fat, ‘standard’, and high-fat meals, as well as diuretic options that are often overconsumed by those with eating disorders. Patients simulate consumption of their meal and can even choose types of conversation to have with a virtual acquaintance (none, neutral or uncomfortable). The goal of this simulation, pictured below, is to guide the patient through a controlled and customized scenario to help them tackle their anxiety.


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28/apr/2021

Cancer patients often live with comorbidities including chronic pain, depression, or other associated chronic conditions. The management of chronic pain remains a challenging and complex process involving pharmacologic, physical, occupational, and psychological factors. Typically, pharmaceutical interventions such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs, as well as opioids, are used to enhance comfort in cancer-related chronic pain. But this increases the chances of drug addiction and risks exposure to the side-effects associated with using opioids.

Virtual Reality is recently emerging as a novel way for pain management. The purpose of VR technology is to provide users with sense of presence within a simulated environment—they feel like they are there. Cognitive distraction is a common strategy for controlling pain and relies on competing cognitive resources, i.e. attention, to reduce the perception of pain. Immersive VR interventions are being used as powerful distractors that require visual, audio, cognitive, and emotional engagement from the user.

Another approach valued by some patients is mindfulness meditation for chronic pain management. Mindfulness meditation is a psychological technique that requires intentional and non-judgmental awareness of pain and conscious relaxation to support its acceptance and help reduce its impact. Combining mindfulness meditation within a VR intervention may help support acceptance and adherence to the practice while having a positive effect on pain reduction through immersive VR distraction.

In that context, we at SyncVR have designed the SyncVR-Relax & Distract – an application where patients and healthcare staff can experience a wide variety of VR scenarios to reduce pain, anxiety and stress. The VR library contains relaxation exercises, cognitive stimulating games and video’s. It is easy to implement and the  application comes with a tablet on which you can spectate what a patient is seeing in the VR-headset.


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26/apr/2021

Alleviating patients’ suffering and pain remains an important challenge in medicine. Different non-pharmacological techniques are currently being used as complementary tools in the treatment of acute and chronic pain, including cognitive-behavioral therapies, biofeedback, acceptance-based approaches, hypnosis, and virtual reality (VR). A new technique that combines hypnosis and VR, called “virtual reality hypnosis” (VRH), is increasingly being used where resources are limited, or there are considerable distractions to patients with an already compromised cognitive capacity.

VR technology offers new opportunities for clinical research and intervention by creating a human testing and training multi-sensory 3D dynamic environment . VR can be interesting in addition to pharmacotherapy and analgesia in anxiety and pain reduction, as an adjunct therapy for the management of acute pain in adults and children and allows patients to alter the patient’s attention, emotions, and concentration.

Together with HypnoVR we are exploring this new and promising area for pain management. HypnoVR specializes in developing virtual reality-based medical hypnosis solutions to manage pain and stress. It designs, develops and markets software applications and medical devices as innovative tools of hypnosedation to improve the quality of care and comfort of patients. HypnoVR solutions fit perfectly into multimodal accelerated rehabilitation procedures and help improve care.


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22/apr/2021

Over the course of recent times, dental education has progressed tremendously. Advanced teaching and learning methods have been developed and refined. This has led to improved precision of skills involving dexterity and hand coordination. This is particularly important in areas such as dentistry. Virtual Reality is a great tool for not just  understanding the patients’ perspective but also plays a part of continuous education of dental professionals.

1. Virtual Reality helps to deal with patient’s anxiety, fear and pain during dental visits

Visiting a dentist can be a daunting experience due to the anxiety and pain associated with it. VR will immerse the patients into other worlds. They can view scenes that will help them feel relaxed and calm during a procedure Patients will be less anxious and fidgety, which will allow you to treat them more efficiently.

2. Less Dependence on Nitrous Oxide

Dentists who have used VR report little or no use of nitrous oxide to relax their patients. They’ve experienced benefits such as lower expenses, administering fewer drugs to patients, showing patients that they’re innovative, and demonstrating that they care about the opioid drug epidemic and are part of the solution.

3. VR will make you stand out as a welcoming office.

VR reflects concern for patient welfare, allows you to treat patients who become more relaxed and calmer, reduces patient anxiety and stress, reduces procedural time and gives the doctor more flexibility. Patients will talk about these practices and recommend their dentists to their friends and families. This will place these dental practices at the top.


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12/apr/2021

Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people. According to the World Health Organization, the number of patients with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 50 million with nearly 10 million new cases every year. Dementia is a misunderstood condition. Many people believe it’s just a by-product of ageing. We tend to not think beyond memory loss when it comes to symptoms. The reality is that dementia is a condition caused by diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, that damage different areas of the brain leading to a variety of challenging symptoms.

Early Risk Detection

Alzheimer’s has already become remarkably easier to detect thanks to VR technology. The scientists, led by Lukas Kunz of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn published a study in which they used a virtual maze to help detect Alzheimer’s. In the study, the scientists tested people between 18 and 30 years old and had them try to navigate a VR maze. Based on how different people moved through the maze, the scientists were able to accurately identify which subjects held genetic markers for Alzheimer’s. This means that with the help of VR, scientists can diagnose high-risk patients as young as 18 years old, allowing families to plan for future Alzheimer’s care.

Virtual Reality for Caregivers

Embodied Labs is dedicated to creating dementia-specific simulations as an educational tool and for building empathy. They’ve created a platform that allows caregivers, family members and medical professionals to experience dementia first hand. VR therapy that serves not only the person living with a neurological disorder but the care provider, helping care home staff and caregivers see through their patients’ eyes, so they can provide more empathic healthcare.


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