Virtual Reality

About Virtual Reality

For the past 25 years, The Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC) has been using simulation technologies in three main areas: 1) treating patients with anxiety disorders, 2) training for both military and civilian populations, and 3) enhancing various educational programs. With U.S. offices in San Diego, La Jolla, Coronado, California and research offices and clinical trials capabilities in Brussels, Belgium and Qingdao, China, VRMC is a world leader in applying virtual reality technology in combination with physiological monitoring and feedback for training, therapy, and emerging applications. We are also focused on developing a comprehensive protocol to address an array of needs for military personnel and civilian first responders as well as emerging technologies for various security and intelligence operations.

  • VRMC operates and manages psychology clinics staffed by licensed clinical psychologists devoted to using cognitive-behavioral techniques
    enhanced with virtual reality exposure therapy and biofeedback for the treatment of various disorders in both adults and children.
  • VRMC designs, develops and markets advanced virtual reality systems for mental health care and medical care.
  • VRMC performs and participates in several research studies funded by the government.
  • VRMC’s 501c3 non-profit affiliate, Interactive Media Institute (IMI) sponsors national and international workshops, meetings, and continuing education courses (accredited by the American Psychological Association).

As a company specializing in developing simulation software and virtual reality and augmented reality systems to facilitate medical therapy, our mission is to design, develop, test, and clinically validate and deliver highly effective experiences using innovative technology integrated with medical science. We have extensive knowledge in the creation of interactive software for clinical treatment and training, and our graphics and software teams are skilled in the development of interactive 3D worlds. Our clinically validated products include Airport and Flight VR, Fear of Heights VR, and Virtual Reality Pain Distraction. We support military medicine by providing PTSD treatment, Stress Inoculation Training, and Combat Medic VR training programs for civilian and military first responders and civilian and military medical personnel. Our diverse customer base shows we are committed to expanding our advanced technology to additional medical areas and delivering improved products for clinical use.

The Virtual Reality Medical Center uses Virtual Reality and Biofeedback-enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (VR-CBT) to treat clients with panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, and social phobia. Specific phobias are conditions such as fear of flying, fear of heights, claustrophobia, fear of driving, fear of thunderstorms, arachnophobia, and fear of public speaking.
Virtual reality exposure therapy places you in a computer-generated world where you “experience” the various stimuli related to your phobia. You will wear a head- mounted display with small TV monitors and stereo earphones to receive both visual and auditory cues.

Advantages of Virtual-Reality Exposure Therapy:

  • Costs considerably less than in vivo exposure (the use of real life situations for exposure therapy).
  • Total control of the “phobic” experience, without leaving the therapist’s office.
  • Segments of any phobia can be repeated, allowing the client to gradually reduce fear and anxiety.
  • Eliminates risks of potential physical harm.
  • Therapy is conducted in the therapist’s office, allowing for complete patient confidentiality and eliminating public embarrassment concerns.
  • People once resistant to traditional treatment may consider Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.

Step-by-step process:


We want to know when you are subjectively feeling anxious, but we also monitor your physiology, to provide an objective measurement of anxiety and desensitization. Non-invasive physiological monitoring with visual feedback is used to help you understand when you are relaxed and when you are anxious, so you can learn to recreate relaxed feelings on your own in real-life phobic situations.

Virtual reality exposure begins after you have learned these anxiety management skills, usually in session 3 or 4. Virtual reality offers the opportunity for you to practice these skills in situations in which you previously experienced anxiety, allowing the skills to generalize more easily to real world settings.

In careful, controlled stages, you will be exposed to experiences that elicit higher levels of anxiety. Each stage can be repeated until you are comfortable with the experience and satisfied with your response.

At every step, the therapist can see and hear what you are experiencing in the virtual world. If your level of anxiety becomes overwhelming, you can return to a less stressful level of treatment, or simply remove the head-mounted display and exit the virtual world.

The entire process:

  • lasts 8-12 sessions on average (for a Specific Phobia)
  • takes you through a graded set of phobic stimuli.
  • uses a head-mounted virtual reality display and real-time physiological monitoring.
  • is customized for every client.
  • is faster than traditional exposure therapy and desensitization.

If you have questions, please visit our FAQ’s page

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Capabilities Statement – VRMC

The Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC) continues to provide support to the Office of Naval Research, U.S. Army, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the areas of psychological research design and training, modeling and simulation. VRMC has Navy program management experience combined with strong technical expertise and a proven track record of sustained, successful performance. More than 90% of our business is with repeat customers. The corporate experience and resources of VRMC will directly contribute to building a strong, resourceful team with extensive knowledge and experience in all requirements of the SOW. VRMC provides more than 100 years of combined corporate experience in government contracting, and represents more than 50 man-years of successful business administration.

VRMC’s core strengths include a cadre of highly experienced medical and psychology professionals, all of whom have military contracting experience; strategic alliances with research, technology, and Navy leaders; and the flexibility to produce scientifically based R&D with more speed and at lower cost than many large vendors.

VRMC has the in-depth experience in providing government, technical, and managerial services, and has the financial and management resources necessary to meet its contract requirements. VRMC is a small business.

VRMC’s contribution is solid and meaningful. While VRMC will focus on R&D support for the NAVAIRTSD CSS effort, VRMC will also be given the opportunity to use its significant background in training, modeling and simulation, should our team program manager determine that is necessary. That broad base, from computer software development to human performance measurement, human-systems integration design, and research requirements specification, will help ensure VRMC delivers the highest quality NAVAIRTSD CSS support.

Key capabilities include:

  • Assessment of training technologies
  • Computer software development
  • Computer software-hardware integration
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Experimental design
  • Human factors design and research
  • Human performance and cognition expertise
  • Human performance measurement
  • Human-systems integration design
  • Literature review preparation
  • Modeling, training, and simulation
  • Online training
  • Planning, developing, and conducting research
  • Presenting and reporting study results
  • Psychology research expertise and experience
  • Psychometrics experience
  • Publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • R&D experience
  • Research requirements specification
  • Statistical analysis
  • Transfer of training from virtual to real world
  • Trusted Navy partner


Recent VRMC Awards and Other Recognitions

Aerospace Industries Association, Top New Technology Firms, 2006

American Association of Engineers (San Diego Council), Finalist, AeA High Tech Award, 2006

Association of Medical Service Corps Officers of the Navy, Directors Award, 2006

California Space Authority, Nominee, CSA California Innovation Award, 2007

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Nominee, Small Business Achievement Award, 2005

Keiretsu Forum, Invited Presentations, Southern California, 2006

Larta Institute, The Venture Forum, Best in Show, 2007

National SBIR Phase II Conference, Poster Presentation, Best in Show, 2005

Naval Medical Center San Diego, Academic Research Competition, Interesting Case Studies, 1st Place, 2007

Naval Medical Center San Diego Health Fair, 1st Place People’s Choice Award, 2006

NIH, SBIR Showcase for National Institute on Drug Abuse, Keynote Presentation, Washington, DC, 2005

UCSD CONNECT, Springboard Assistance Winner, 2007