Author: Brenda Wiederhold

Selected as Best National Digital Solution for the International Award in Health and Well-Being

HACK THE GAPS – DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE UN SDGS: THE WSA NOMINEES OF 2020

Milan/San Diego/Salzburg

2 November 2020

Professor Giuseppe Riva, Professor Brenda K Wiederhold and Dr. Luca Bernardelli are pleased to announce that COVID Feel Good HAS BEEN SELECTED AS BEST NATIONAL DIGITAL SOLUTION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD IN THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING CATEGORY.

Smart content combined with optimized utilization of state-of-the-art technology offers immense opportunities to close global and local divides and the achievement of the UN SDGs. COVID Feel Good was nominated as best national digital solution for Italy for the international WSA Award, selecting digital innovations with a positive impact on society.  With this nomination in the Category Health and Well-being, COVID Feel Good qualifies for evaluation by the WSA Online Jury 2020 among over 340 international nominations – showcasing the global dimension of digital innovation, from Canada to Indonesia, from Finland to Mozambique.

The WSA nominees 2020 show the richness, diversity, future, and innovation of digital solutions on a global scale and prove how digital technology can improve society on each corner of the world.

COVID Feel Good has been selected as best national digital solution for Italy for the international WSA.  But it reaches beyond the borders of Italy and has become a truly international effort, with over 10 countries now participating in this Positive Technology initiative.

Living in the time of the coronavirus means experiencing not only a global health emergency but also extreme psychological stress that puts a strain on our identity and our relationships.

COVID Feel Good is a weekly social self-help protocol based on a virtual reality experience, requiring just twenty minutes daily, helping you in relieving anxiety and stress and improving well-being and social connectedness.

https://www.covidfeelgood.com/home 

It is FREE and it requires just TWENTY MINUTES everyday for a week.

VR Video, Protocol and Instructions in English, Español, Français, Português do Brasil, Italiano, 한국인, 日本語, Deutsche, Català and Türkçe are available below.

Please help us in spreading this protocol by posting in your social accounts our videos (in English, Spanish, French, Brasilian/Portoguese, Italian, and Catalan)

The WSA 2020 nominees will be evaluated based on seven fundamentals criteria: Content, Functionality, Design, Technology, Innovation, Impact and Value.

WSA combines two major perspectives in its initiative – first the commitment of the UN SDGs, and how to use ICTs for development.  And second the development of a global knowledge society. The UN SDGs must be our measurement – in terms of what to look at and where to look. Today we are living in a completely different environment – through the mobile revolution, through the emergence of the algorithmic age – data has become capital just as much as labour, land, money and machinery. Hence, it is more important than ever to fully evaluate what excellent content is and what it really offers in terms of solutions and impact. Qualitative, local content has become the key and permanent issue. WSA presents innovation that uses ICT for social connectivity. To connect for impact.“ WSA Chairman Peter A. Bruck states.

The WSA nominees are selected carefully and highly competitively by the WSA National Experts from more than 184 UN member states. The WSA National Experts nominate up to eight projects for each country – one for every WSA category.

A nomination to the WSA hence is already an award in itself – the qualification to compete and compare on an international level and being the best practice in Health and Well-being nationally.

About the WSA

The WSA is a global initiative within the framework of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). WSA is the only ICT event worldwide that reaches the digital driven social impact community in over 180 countries. WSA highlights digital content that is improving society and focuses on local content with global relevance.

Visit us on www.wsa-global.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, #WSA20

Media Contact WSA:

Manuela Wagner

WSA Global Community Manager
manuela@wsa-global.org

+43.660.630408.7

 

Help us to help bring healing to people around the globe:

 Professor Giuseppe Riva

Scientific Coordination

Catholic University of Sacred Heart

Istituto Auxologico Italiano

Milan, Italy

 

Professor Brenda K. Wiederhold

Clinical Coordination

Virtual Reality Medical Center

Interactive Media Institute, a 501c3 non-profit

Licensed Clinical Psychologist in U.S. and Belgium

 

Dr. Luca Bernardelli

VR Development Coordination

CEO, Become-Hub

Milan, Italy

 

 

 

Management of Psychological Stress in Nurses and Teachers

The recent convergence between technology and medicine is offering innovative methods and tools for behavioral health care. Among these, an emerging approach is the use of virtual reality (VR) within exposure-based protocols for anxiety disorders, and in particular posttraumatic stress disorder. In a randomised controlled clinical trial funded by the European Commission, our team was able to show that Virtual Reality enhanced treatment is able to significantly reduce stress, while increasing coping skills.

interstress-rct

Staying Healthy and Safe Going Back to School with COVID

Going back to school can be as stressful for your kids as it is for you. But you can help make things easier by helping your children be ready well in advance of the first day of class. Being informed is the first step in staying healthy and safe going back to school. Learn all you can about the best way to keep your kids safe from the virus as well as other illnesses.

Some of the most obvious tips that we have been hearing over and over again on the news are actually some of the best ways to stay safe. Washing your hands often, using hand sanitizer, staying at least six feet away from everyone, keeping your hands away from your face, and wearing the proper face covering are the top five tips from the CDC.

It is also important to make sure your kids are mentally healthy. Kids can be just as stressed out as we are, and they just do not show it in the same way. Many times, they will not even tell you what they are feeling. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), every year, about one in five American children suffer from some type of behavioral, emotional, or mental illness. Even if your child seems happy and healthy, supporting their mental health as much as their physical health can stave off problems they may have later.

If you notice your child seems more withdrawn than usual, is not interested in their typical activities, or just seem to be more anxious or depressed, talk to them. Ask them what is going on. And if you think your child has a problem, you may want to try virtual reality therapy. At the Virtual Reality Medical Center in San Diego, Dr. Brenda Wiederhold is available to treat any type of anxiety and various other mental health issues.

 

The Power of VR for acute and chronic pain

 

The Pain Practitioner interviewed Dr. Brenda K Wiederhold, CEO of Interactive Media Institute, a 501c3

and President of the Virtual Reality Medical Center, a California Medical Corporation.

VRMC develops VR environments, conducts clinical research studies using VR, AR, medical devices,

biosensors and pharmaceuticals in conjunction with traditional behavioral healthcare and provides patient

services at its private clinic on the Scripps Memorial Hospital Campus in La Jolla, California.

 

Pain Practitioner Interview

What You Can do to Reduce Your Anxiety About COVID-19

 

What You Can do to Reduce Your Anxiety About COVID-19

 

Since everyone reacts differently to situations like COVID-19, it is important to be prepared to handle any type of anxiety or fear you may be feeling at this time. When things in your life become so uncertain and you don’t know what is going to happen, you may begin to panic or have severe anxiety. And one of the worst things about this crisis is that most of the world is on lockdown so we cannot just go to a friend’s house, to the gym, or whatever else you typically do to deal with your stress.

However, that does not mean that you cannot do something to deal with your emotions. First of all, you don’t have to go to the gym to work out. Even if you don’t have any kind of exercise equipment at home. One of the best ways to exercise is to walk. Yes, you can go outside for a walk. Just stay at least six feet away from anyone you happen to see. Another way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors is gardening or yard work. Since the weather is getting warmer, go ahead and start getting your garden ready or just walk around the yard and pick up sticks, rocks, and other debris that may have made its way into your yard during the winter.

Don’t forget to talk to people. Just because you are quarantined does not mean you cannot communicate with your loved ones. Use Facetime, videochat, text, or just talk on the phone to friends, family, or anyone. Not only will you feel better, you will make the other person happy as well. Loneliness is real. Do not isolate yourself so much that you are not talking to anyone at all. Another way to help your anxiety is to use virtual reality therapy. Whether that means connecting with a therapist on telementalhealth or coming into a clinic, like the Virtual Reality Medical Center in La Jolla, Dr. Brenda Wiederhold is available to treat any type of anxiety management.

 

Talking to Your Kids About COVID-19

 

Your kids may not seem like they are anxious about this COVID-19 crisis, but they probably have a lot of questions about what is going on. For example, they are probably wondering why they have to stay home from school. Although many kids like this vacation from their daily routine, most are probably getting anxious about what is going on. The younger ones that are not in school yet may even be wondering why their siblings are home and why they cannot go see their friends or go to the park.

Do not just tell them not to worry about it and try to shield them from the COVID-19 issues. Because we all know that you cannot stop someone from worrying by telling them not to worry. In fact, in many cases, it will make them worry more. Listen to your child’s questions and answer them as best as you can. If you do not know the answer to their question, go on trusted sites like the CDC and look for the answers and ways to help your children cope. Without overwhelming your child with too much information, go ahead and let them know what is going on because what is going on in their imagination may be much worse than the truth.

If your child is really having a hard time dealing with things, it is important to get them some professional help. Although most mental health providers are not taking appointments right now because of the quarantine, you can always find online counseling. Most online counseling can be done without ever having to go to the office and can all be done from home. In addition, talk to Dr. Brenda Wiederhold from the Virtual Reality Medical Center about her options to help during this COVID-19 lockdown.

 

Taking the Anxiety Out of COVID-19 for Those with Pre-Existing Anxiety

 

During these troubling times, it is difficult for anyone to deal with their anxiety and stress. Those with pre-existing anxiety disorders can really have a tough time with the COVID-19 crisis. But there are things you can do to help yourself or others who may not be handling the situation well.

First of all, turn off the news. Watching too much coverage about COVID-19 can make anyone anxious. While it is good to be informed, it is more important to take a break from the constant worry and think about other things for a while. Your mental health needs a break sometimes.

Talk to someone if you feel like you are becoming overwhelmed. Even if you already have a therapist, they may not be available to you right now. Many mental health providers are not taking appointments right now except for virtual visits or online counseling. If your therapist does not offer this kind of help, contact one that does.

There are many out there and you don’t even need an appointment for most of them. Then you can talk to them by text, phone, chat, or videochat.   Many health plans are also relaxing their payment schedules for virtual visits during this time of “shelter in place”.

Another example would be to use virtual reality therapy. This type of therapy involves using virtual reality to expose you to your fears gradually. It works extremely well with anxiety disorders and phobias. Dr. Brenda Wiederhold of the Virtual Reality Medical Center offers treatment for all types of anxiety, phobias, and pain management.  In addition, there are  relaxation apps that one can find on the app store such as Calm, Headspace and Kardia that may help get you through these difficult times.  Remember, now more than ever, we must be mindful of our mental well-being.

Virtual Reality for the Attenuation of Pain and Anxiety

The Virtual Reality Medical Center and nonprofit affiliate, Interactive Media Institute, recently published the article, “Using Virtual Reality to Mobilize Health Care: Mobile Virtual Reality Technology for Attenuation of Anxiety and Pain” in the January Issue of IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine. The article summarizes the use of virtual reality as a tool for pain distraction and stress reduction in patients. This tool has been used to treat phobias, stress disorders, distract from surgical pain, and help overcome chronic pain. As a mobile healthcare platform, virtual reality and related technologies are changing the face of healthcare services by increasing access, efficiency, and effectiveness.

For the full text, please visit: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8197481/

Please direct any questions regarding this article to Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold at frontoffice@vrphobia.com

 

 

Wiederhold BK, Miller IT, Wiederhold MD. Using Virtual Reality to Mobilize Health Care: Mobile Virtual Reality Technology for Attenuation of Anxiety and Pain. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine. 2018 Jan;7(1):106-9.

Phobias Born of Our High-Tech Lifestyles

http://www.medicaldaily.com/smartphone-separation-anxiety-may-be-linked-personal-memories-study-says-421507

 

“Nomophobia, fear of missing out (FoMo), and fear of being offline (FoBo), — all anxieties born of our new high-tech lifestyles — may be treated similarly to other more traditional phobias,” Wiederhold said in a statement.“Exposure therapy, in this case turning off technology periodically, can teach individuals to reduce anxiety and become comfortable with periods of disconnectedness.”
                                                                                                                                                                                           
Contact Information:
frontoffice @ vrphobia.com
+1 858 642 0267
Professor Dr. Brenda K Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCB, BCN

Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold Wins Satava Award

Satava Award

We are excited to announce that, Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, Chief Executive Officer of the Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, CA has been awarded the 11th Annual Satava Award at the 2005 Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR) conference. The conference, now in its 13th year serves as an international forum for physicians, computer scientists and educators to present research on data-centered solutions to health care problems. Dr. Wiederhold was honored for her continuous effort to further the application of advanced technologies and Virtual Reality (VR) for patient care. This is the first time that the award has been presented for work in the Mental Health Care field and only the second time that it has been awarded to a female researcher.

Virtual Reality Therapy for Fear of Spiders

If you are afraid of spiders, then you are not alone. In fact, approximately 55% of women and 18% of men in the United States suffer from arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. Virtual Reality Therapy may be able to help you overcome that fear!

Although not everyone who dislikes spiders has the actual phobia, there are some symptoms to watch out for. If you freeze or run away if you see a spider, refuse to go into a room that may have a spider, and if you will not go camping, hiking, or do any other outdoor activities you used to enjoy for fear of seeing a spider, you may have arachnophobia.

According to licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, President of the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC) in La Jolla, California, “A phobia is a diagnosable disorder that impacts your life negatively.” But don’t worry, there are treatments that can help. Virtual Reality (VR) exposure therapy helps the sufferer desensitize to the stimuli that causes their phobia. For example, those who have arachnophobia may be exposed to VR scenarios of spiders in a non-threatening way to gradually decrease the fear at the patient’s own individual pace.

Virtual Reality therapy exposes you to the scenarios in the safety and comfort of the therapist’s office. Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, has been practicing Virtual Reality (VR) therapy for over 2 decades. She completed the first randomized controlled clinical trial in 1996 using Virtual Reality and biofeedback to treat patients with phobias.  And the VRMC has been successfully performing VR therapy now for 23 years!   With a new set of skills on how to react differently and think differently about spiders, followed by gradual exposure through VR, you can be enjoying that camping trip in no time!

Most individuals with a specific phobia require on average one clinical intake session and 10 treatment sessions.  If you live in the San Diego area, you can choose to come once a week or twice a week.  If you are coming from out of the area, we can accommodate “condensed treatment” where you will experience one VR session per day, each day, Monday-Friday.