The avatar doctor will see you now: NHS will use virtual reality technology to help treat patients with mental health problems
- At least 16 NHS trusts in the UK have already used virtual reality software
- Patients recreate past experiences that upset them and also use avatars
- The Mail on Sunday revelation follows a VR explosion in the film industry
It has been used to push the boundaries in the film industry and take audiences to another dimension.
Now the NHS has decided to follow suit and use virtual reality technology to help treat patients with mental health problems.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that at least 16 NHS trusts in the UK have already used VR software that allows patients to enter a 3D digital world and create virtual people known as avatars to express their feelings in various scenarios. explore.
Patients recreate past experiences that upset them and use their avatars to express what they find difficult to say out loud in real life.
Dr. David Rigby, co-chair of the Digital Psychiatry Special Interest Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said there has been an ‘explosion’ in VR as the technology becomes cheaper.
At least 16 NHS trusts in the UK have already used virtual reality software (file image)
He added: ‘There are many studies showing that VR can help specific phobias such as a fear of flying or spiders by creating a digital representation of being on an airplane or around spiders. The technology tricks the brain into activating those phobia symptoms in a safe environment.’