VirtualRET is the result of combined expertise in neuropsychology and technology. This product is designed for the cognitive-behavioural treatment of anxiety disorders (phobias) through exposure to virtual reality.
Virtual reality is a medium of human-computer interaction whereby an individual becomes an active participant within a three-dimensional virtual world. The user experiences multisensory stimuli (e.g. visual, auditory and kinesthetic) that immerse him or her in a computer-generated environment via a head-mounted display with screens for each eye, earphones and a head-tracking device worn by the patient. The head tracking provides orientation information to a computer, so that the images in the virtual world change in response to the user’s movements. The environment changes in real time as the user moves, making the user feel like an active participant within the virtual world.
Current research shows that it is an effective and powerful tool in the treatment of a number of anxiety disorders.
VirtualRET has the following advantages compared to real exposure:
- Suitable for patients with high levels of anxiety who refuse in vivo exposure
- Can be used to create flexible hierarchical and customized exposures.
- Full control of all parameters in every virtual exposure session.
- Exposure sessions can be repeated to habituate the anxiety.
- Useful in difficult situations of in vivo exposure (e.g. flying phobia)
- Patient can be exposed to interoceptive signals.
- Sessions take place in the therapist’s office, so are always confidential.
VirtualRET has the following advantages compared to expressive therapy:
- Offers a high degree of immersion – particularly beneficial for patients who have difficulty imagining the feared stimulus
- Multi-sensory stimulation
- Therapist knows which stimulus the patient is watching
- Maximizes return on investment by addressing multiple types of phobias with one tool
- Easy to use; no advanced technical knowledge required
- Increased confidentiality (easily integrated into the practice/clinic)
- Provides automatic reports based on objective data
- Public appeal
- Greater control of the treatment.
This tool provides a wide range of scenarios, which can be customized and adapted to each session and each patient, offering a high level of immersion. VirtualRet exposes the patient to interoceptive stimuli: tachycardia, breathlessness, double vision, blurred vision and tunnel vision. In addition, a report is generated for each session, incorporating different variables which can be modified and controlled by the therapist.
The VirtualRET product consists of software and hardware
- Software platform
- Scenery library
- Hardware: head-mounted display
If you are interested in VirtualRET, you can request a demonstration in which we will present the product and show you how to handle the platform, view the interface and plan a session, etc.
Please contact us to request a demonstration, and we will get in touch as soon as possible.