How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine
Not so far from now, instead of prescribing another pill, doctors might recommend a beach vacation to ease aches and pains. Psychiatrists might treat social anxiety by inviting patients to a dinner party, or reminisce with Alzheimer patients in a replica of their childhood home.
Hospitals might immerse children in fantastical play lands while they receive chemotherapy or undergo frightening medical tests.
And doctors-in-training might learn how to operate in virtual simulations. It’s starting to happen right now because of virtual reality (VR) – the mind-bending technology that leverages our power to imagine when we need it the most. In this talk, we will explore how VR can modify our reality in ways that may be hard to accomplish in times of vulnerability and distress.
VR does this by radically changing our perspective of the world. We can imagine being somewhere fantastical and healing. We can practice being the person we want to become. We can see ourselves from beyond and regard ourselves in a new light. We can empathize with ourselves and with others. We can confront our inner voice. We can transform our minds drastically and immediately, and when effective, forge healthy cognitions that last long after the headsets are removed. We already have these abilities within us.
VR just makes it easier when times are hard.