“crafting Virtual Experiences: Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality Degrees” – Irtual reality has come a long way. Twenty years ago, the technology cost tens of thousands of dollars and weighed between 50 and 100 pounds. Today you can find lightweight models for less than $ 100. Wired headphones allow users to immerse themselves in a 360-degree environment that feels almost real.

While most VR worlds focus on entertainment and gaming, this technology is increasingly being applied to healthcare settings. At Spokane, the Northwest Counseling Center uses VR to help patients face their fears and practice mindfulness. Burn patients in hospitals across the country using VR games placed in a snow paradise to help manage inflammatory pain. And at Western State Hospital near Tacoma, new staff are trained with VR modules that put them in patients’ shoes and help them understand what is going on in a mental health crisis. VR worlds are indistinguishable from reality, but they are getting closer

“crafting Virtual Experiences: Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality Degrees”

Washington State Western Hospital trains staff using VR courses that immerse them in the life experiences of Lena, a fictional woman with schizophrenia.

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Mental Health You are called to the front of a large conference room and there is no description to say some kind. Non-essential topics; What matters is the audience. There are at least 50 of them – dressed in sexy corporate attire and talking among them when you go on stage. You try to speak softly, but they do not seem to care what you have to say. You feel anxious. Their complaints grow louder and with horror you realize they are talking about you.

Out of the corner of your eye you see people starting to stand up and leave. Someone in the audience asks you a question, but you are too distracted to think straight. Speech is a complete disaster.

When you remove the VR glasses, you will be referred to the office of Dr. Roger Yoder, founder of the Northwest Counseling Center in central Spokane. Yoder began incorporating VR into his practice immediately after launching in 2016. He now uses technology to treat various anxieties and fears, including the fear of public speaking.

By exposing patients to their fears in a controlled and secure environment, Yoder can help them work to gradually control their responses and reach a point where they can participate. Safety in action in real life.

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VR training usually does not start with the level of speech in front of a hostile audience. Yoder will start the patient on a simple simulator and then gradually increase the intensity while constantly monitoring their heartbeat. The goal is to get to a point where they can face the source of anxiety or injury without triggering their flight or combat response.

“You can’t just take people who are afraid of heights in the early days and throw them on,” Yoder says. The tallest building. ” “You did not help them at all.

For those who are afraid of flying, that could mean starting a course in a simulated room. TV show about a devastating plane crash. When the patient is able to sit comfortably without a beating heart, Yoder moves them to the next stage: a simulated taxi ride to the gate and a walk through the station. After that, they will board a plane and experience flying on their own, assisted by a small motor in a vibrating patient seat to simulate chaos.

On his PC, Yoder manages the experience in real time. He can create more flight disturbances, more thunder and lightning, or start panicking other passengers on the plane. He monitors the patient’s heartbeat throughout the session to make sure things are not too bad.

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“You can track people to measure where they are so you never take them to orgasm,” says Yoder. Of their fears. ”

Yoder says patients have seen tremendous success with VR therapy models. Sometimes patients can overcome their fears in six to eight sessions.

The VR simulation was designed by a company called Psious, based in Spain. They have dozens of simulations that help patients deal with common fears such as spider mites, needles and elevators. If patients have more specific fears – such as walking across Spokane’s Post Street Bridge – Yoder can use his 360-degree camera to create modules that suit their individual needs. It also has a VR module designed to assist the patient in mindfulness and meditation.

Yoder said he was excited about the prospect of the technology. Most insurance companies, including state insurers, now cover VR therapy. He says you must not let your fears take over your life.

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The “When the Voice Returns” health education is a five-part virtual reality training module that manages new staff at Western State Hospital, a psychiatric institution near Tacoma. The training tells the story of Lena, a fictional patient at Western State Hospital who suffers from schizophrenia.

During the two-week training, staff followed Lena as she dealt with her symptoms while exploring the legal system and the long road to recovery. James Ortega, safety manager at Western State Hospital, says the training has provoked strong reactions among staff, sometimes leading to tears.

“It changed some people’s perceptions of what it was like to have a mental illness,” says Ortega. “

Enhancing patient empathy is an important part of mental health care. Employees at psychiatric institutions such as Western State Hospital are routinely placed in vulnerable situations, as managing their own emotional reactions may be just as important as dealing with patients.

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“In crisis intervention and stress reduction, one of the things we really want to do is self-control,” says Ortega. “We do not want to let our emotions get the best of us or let our adrenaline increase.”

With that goal in mind, a team at the Department of Social Services set out to create training that would put staff in patient shoes and help them understand what it’s like to be hospitalized with a mental illness. Character. Sara McCaslin, Creative Director for the DSHS Office of Strategic Innovation and Visual Communication, began work on the project in 2019 after discussing with government officials how to improve safety at public mental hospitals.

The decision to use VR is driven by research, McCaslin says. Amazing 360-degree audio and video experiences help immerse employees in an indescribable experience. A 2018 study from Stanford found that the level of empathy and retention of information increased in those who use VR.

“VR has a higher level of stickiness, higher memory levels than traditional video viewing,” says McCaslin.

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The project is led by social workers, mental health technicians and nurses. The team also conducted in-depth interviews with real patients who shared their personal experiences, something that McCaslin says is an important part of the process. With their help, she says, the team at Western State Hospital was able to design the training so it was true to the patient’s life experience and not exaggerated.

The training follows a set script, but McCaslin says she is interested in finding ways to make the training more interactive. In the future, staff can be presented with a variety of options that will take things in different directions, sort of like a self-selected adventure novel.

McCaslin says her office has received calls from a number of other state institutions interested in accepting This training course. They are also looking to implement training at Eastern State Hospital soon.

VR training follows Lena throughout her life as a healer, including its conclusion when she leaves the institution and returns to her family. It is part of the rehabilitation process that staff usually do not see, and Ortega says it could be the most useful part of the training.

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Above: Certified Injury Consultant Roger Yoder uses VR at his Spokane office to help clients overcome fear and apprehension.

Pain Relief Healing from an inflammatory wound can be a long and painful process. Patients have to endure bandage changes, stretching, and physical therapy, all of which bring about pain from the initial burn. It was the only painful process. Medications help, but there is a limit to the amount you can give someone.

Brain activity captured by functional MRI shows reduced activity in areas of the brain associated with pain perception during VR use.

For the past two decades, Hunter Hoffman, a researcher at the University of Washington’s Human Intervention Technology Lab, has been studying how VR can be used as a tool to help burn patients manage pain during When healed. He began research in 1996 when his colleague Dave Patterson, a clinical psychologist and pain specialist in Harborview, told him about his own work, using hypnosis as a tool to turn around. Patients from inflammatory pain at Harborview Medical Center. Hoffman is intrigued and begins to wonder.

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