European Medical Journal – Innovations

Interactive Media Institute, Virtual Reality Medical Center, and the Panamerican University School of Medicine in Mexico City recently published findings on the use of virtual reality (VR) surgical pain distraction in the January 2017 issue of the European Medical Journal – Innovations. In a study of 115 participants, researchers found people who viewed immersive VR environments reported less pain during and after their gastrointestinal surgical procedure than those who did not. The researchers call for further investigation into whether VR can be used to supplement or replace traditional pharmacological anesthesia.

 

This research adds on to studies already examining the use of VR in pain attenuation, but is one of the first to use VR during surgical procedures. Not only did the patients report lower pain scores, but the success of the treatment suggests the potential of VR to help lower the need for medications like anesthesia. Additionally, the surgeon rated his stress lower and completed surgeries faster when patients were in VR. The reduction of pain without pharmacological substances can 1) help lower costs for public health institutions, 2) reduce the risk of complications, and 3) decrease patient recovery time.

 

Contact author:

Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold

Virtual Reality Medical Center

frontoffice@vrphobia.com

Access full text:http://emjreviews.com/therapeutic-area/innovations/virtual-reality-assisted-anaesthesia-during-upper-gastrointestinal-endoscopy-report-of-115-cases

Vázquez JL, Wiederhold BK, Miller I, Wiederhold MD. Virtual reality assisted anaesthesia during upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: report of 115 cases. EMJ Innov. 2017;1[1]:75-82. http://emjreviews.com/therapeutic-area/innovations/virtual-reality-assisted-anaesthesia-during-upper-gastrointestinal-endoscopy-report-of-115-cases/

European Medical Journal – Innovations

Interactive Media Institute, Virtual Reality Medical Center, and the Panamerican University School of Medicine in Mexico City recently published findings on the use of virtual reality (VR) surgical pain distraction in the January 2017 issue of the European Medical Journal – Innovations. In a study of 115 participants, researchers found people who viewed immersive VR environments reported less pain during and after their gastrointestinal surgical procedure than those who did not. The researchers call for further investigation into whether VR can be used to supplement or replace traditional pharmacological anesthesia.

 

This research adds on to studies already examining the use of VR in pain attenuation, but is one of the first to use VR during surgical procedures. Not only did the patients report lower pain scores, but the success of the treatment suggests the potential of VR to help lower the need for medications like anesthesia. Additionally, the surgeon rated his stress lower and completed surgeries faster when patients were in VR. The reduction of pain without pharmacological substances can 1) help lower costs for public health institutions, 2) reduce the risk of complications, and 3) decrease patient recovery time.

 

Contact author:

Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold

Virtual Reality Medical Center

frontoffice@vrphobia.com

Access full text:http://emjreviews.com/therapeutic-area/innovations/virtual-reality-assisted-anaesthesia-during-upper-gastrointestinal-endoscopy-report-of-115-cases

Vázquez JL, Wiederhold BK, Miller I, Wiederhold MD. Virtual reality assisted anaesthesia during upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: report of 115 cases. EMJ Innov. 2017;1[1]:75-82. http://emjreviews.com/therapeutic-area/innovations/virtual-reality-assisted-anaesthesia-during-upper-gastrointestinal-endoscopy-report-of-115-cases/

Asia-Pacific Analysis: R&D spending boosts development

http://www.scidev.net/asia-pacific/r-d/analysis-blog/asia-pacific-analysis-r-d-spending-boosts-development.html

R&D investment lessons from China

There are lessons in R&D investment to be learned from China.  The Chinese government encourages Chinese companies to create and own technologies, and also transfer technology from abroad, according to American author and editor Professor Dr. Brenda K Wiederhold. [2]  “As a result, a number of multinational technology and pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of this policy” to transfer facilities from India. The Chinese government owns all top-ranked academies and has tripled its investment in education in the past 12 years, she notes. These universities emphasise research. “Of the five million students graduating per year, about one million are research students. And China’s academicians file more patent applications than those in any other country — 16 percent compared to 4 percent in the United States,” Wiederhold adds.

[2] Brenda K. Wiederhold  Investment in Innovation:  Lessons Learned from China (CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Volume 14, Number 4, 2011)

Contact Information:

Virtual Reality Medical Center

La Jolla, California USA

frontoffice @ vrphobia.com

Interns Attend BE.VR in Brussels

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Every two months, Virtual Reality in Belgium (BE.VR) hosts a meet-up in which new ideas and innovations are introduced and shared with members of the virtual reality community. On Thursday, June 4th, new interns William Zhu, Emily LaFond, and Miranda Lin attended this event that featured various presentations from VR companies.  They were even given the opportunity to try their new software and products! Here is what they had to say:  

 

“The Virtual Reality in Belgium (BE.VR) conference was a rather unique and unexpected event that I had the honor to attend during my internship with VRMI. It was eye opening to see how far the developers have come to creating a virtual world with tools such as Oculus Rift. Trying on the devices felt surreal. It felt as if another world suddenly emerged in front of my eyes.

Although most people are excited about virtual reality for the entertainment aspect of it, and I won’t deny that I am either, I see a lot of potential for this in other fields. For example, the unprecedented improvement from Oculus can be the next big thing for virtual medical programs, allowing professionals to deal with patients that suffer from PTSD and various phobias more efficiently. With the continuing and rapid advancement of our technology, I can see an increasing demand for virtual medics every day. This could be the future of psychology. Furthermore, virtual reality can play a huge role in training purposes, whether it is for military, police, firefighters, etc. It can sufficiently mimic the situation and trick your brain into believing the scenario. With virtual reality, we will have more trained and better prepared law enforcers and public servants!

Virtual reality has garnered a lot of attention lately from the public, which makes me feel optimistic about the future of this field of technology. It could be a game changer!”

-William Zhu

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Intern Will Zhu trying out a product from The Big Bad Wolf, a Belgian based VR company. Photo courtesy of BE.VR

 

“The Belgium Virtual Reality Meetup was a great way to be introduced to the industry. Prior to the event, I had little knowledge of virtual reality and its use in society. I understand that virtual reality (VR) is an innovative and fast-growing industry that does not entirely dedicate itself to healthcare and therapy. In fact, the majority of VR presented at the event was focused on media purposes including the video gaming and film production industries. We heard from about five different companies and the products they offer. Most of them create software for better VR and more realistic simulations.

I had the opportunity of trying out some of the products before the presentations began. Their dedication and excitement for their demos was overwhelming, which only reinforces their passion for virtual reality. Most companies were based out of Belgium, however, there were others from various parts of Europe including Denmark and France. It was exciting to see the diversity among the products within the virtual reality industry. Although most of the presentations were geared toward the gaming and film industries, I realize VR’s potential for enhancing healthcare treatments specifically for mental health and pain management. The innovation and further development of VR has no intention of slowing down, providing VRMI with an optimistic future!”

-Emily LaFond

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Conference attendee experiencing Vector VR’s driving simulation through the Oculus Rift. Photo courtesy of BE.VR

 

“The virtual reality event on Thursday was very impressive. It was inspirational to see how VR can be applied to various areas. For example, the ASPIC Technologies group showed us a demo of their virtual reality software, which can be applied in the film or gaming industries. The scenes are so realistic that you forget it is indeed virtual reality. They also presented another technology involving human action. In this virtual reality scene, there were three cubes with different colors that were mixed together in a box and I could use my hands to separate them. After using these demos, I could begin to compare the various products and determine the one that appeared most realistic.

In addition to my hands-on experience, I also had the chance to talk to the Vection VR group. The group is aiming to use the Oculus Rift to create vivid driving scenes, enhancing the customer’s experience. This technology can be used for driving schools, racing practices, and at-home video games. Another fascinating company was PsyNAPS, who is aiming to use their new technology to percept the neural process and action behaviour in order to develop treatment exercise.

Although the virtual reality is very impressive, you can still feel the difference when the scene is moving. For example, the cube and racing experience I tried did not entirely sync with my movement. If the VR cannot give the same experience to the patient as reality does, then we need to be more cautious when evaluating the effectiveness of the treatment. I also had the chance to talk to a woman at the conference who is doing marketing for her VR company.  I admired her methods and hope that VRMI can continue to market itself in Europe as our treatment has proven to be helpful to our patients.”

-Miranda Lin 

Silicon Valley Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum

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Chief Technology Officer of The Virtual Reality Medical Center Lingjun Kong participated in the Silicon Valley Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF) on 27 September 2014. SVIEF is an international conference designed to foster innovation and promote business partnerships connecting the US and Asia-Pacific regions. It is a leading venue in the high-tech industry field which gathers multi-tech and business professionals, while providing a platform for talent, technology, and capital exchange. The 2014 SVIEF was designed to be intense and informative, with the theme on “Global Vision of Innovation: Cross-Border and Disrupt”. The primary goal of this conference was to bring together global technology leaders as well as friends and partners, such as the US and China, with an efficient platform for communication and networking, as well as letting the world know the power of the cross-border cooperation in the technology sector.

Brussels Microsoft Innovation Center Hosts VR Event

Microsoft Innovation Center in Brussels hosted the first VR meetup on Friday 14 November. Event was sponsored by Impulse Brussels.

The goal of events like this is to create a true eco-system in the area of virtual reality. Leading companies such as Darkfield (Germany), Jaunt VR (USA), Video-Stich (France), VR Factory (Netherlands) and Belgian companies like VRMI, Virtuix and SoftKinetic have presented their innovative solutions in the field of virtual reality. More than 200 people attended the event. Three areas that were covered during the event included health, marketing and gaming. Virtual Reality Medical Institute (VRMI) was pleased to have the opportunity to chair the VR for healthcare breakout session.  Companies in the session included VR4child and SurgeVRy.

The good news for the virtual reality community is that these type of gatherings will be held regularly from now on. The next Virtual Reality meetup is scheduled on 21 January in 2015.

meetup

The event was widely covered in the local media. You can read the stories below.

Impulse réunit les stars de la réalité virtuelle – Solutions Magazine

Les startups bruxelloises s’emballent pour la réalité virtuelle – L’Echo

Bienvenue dans l’ère de la réalité virtuelle – Canal Z

 

Press Release – CYPSY19 Award Winners

At the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitation’s (iACToR) 19th Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference (CYPSY19), awards are presented to pay tribute to individuals for their outstanding achievements.  Past recipients include Professor Dr. Stephane Bouchard (2005), Professor Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold (2006), Professor Dr. Giuseppe Riva (2007), Professor Dr. Cristina Botella (2008), Professor Dr. Hunter Hoffman (2009), Professor Dr. Sun I. Kim (2010) and Professor Dr. Mark D. Wiederhold (2011), Professor Dr. Mariano Alcaniz (2012) and Professor Richard M. Satava. (2013).

To celebrate more than a decade of exciting advances in cybertherapy as well as the growth of the CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference itself, we are proud to announce Prof Andrea Gaggioli as the 10th Annual CyberTherapy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. This award, the highest given by our community, has a tradition of honoring a person who has demonstrated outstanding lifetime achievements in the fields of advanced technologies and healthcare.

Prof. Gaggioli is Research Professor of General Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy; Senior Researcher of the Interactive Communication and Ergonomics of New Technologies – ICE-NET – Lab. at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, and Deputy Head Researcher at the Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Laboratory – ATN-P Lab., Istituto Auxologico Italiano. For over ten years, Prof. Gaggioli has investigated the potential role of pervasive technologies in promoting mental and physical wellbeing. His involvement with those research areas has led to the co-authoring of over fifty articles in refereed journals, including these papers published in “Science”: (i) Gaggioli A., Riva G., Working the Crowd, Science. 2008 Sep 12;321(5895):1443; (ii) Gorini A, Gaggioli A, Riva G. Virtual Worlds, Real Healing. Science. 2007 Dec 7;318(5856):1549. For his scientific work, Prof. Gaggioli received several international acknowledgements, including the 2005 Annual Prize of the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (http://www.aemr.eu/). In addition, he has recently completed coordinating the European Commission funded INTERSTRESS project (Interreality in the Management and Treatment of Stress-Related Disorders). This STREP project explored the potential of a new human-computer paradigm – “Interreality” – for the management of psychological stress.

The aim of the Clinical Cyberpsychology New Investigator Award is to reward the presentation of strong methodological studies at the CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking conference. This year we are delighted announce Dr. Fillipo La Pagaila as the conference award recipient. Dr. La Pagaila is an Italian psychologist who received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorder at the University of Palermo with the experimental thesis on “Assessment of Executive Functions in Patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Virtual Reality.” Currently Dr. La Pagaila works at the Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neuroscience, University of Palermo, Italy.

The main area of interest for Dr. La Pagaila is the application of Virtual Reality and media technologies within the clinical context. His current work includes the “Assessment of Executive Functions in Patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by NeuroVirtual Reality and the “Cognitive Rehabilitation in Schizophrenic Patients by Virtual Reality”. In addition, since 2004 Dr. La Pagaila has been planning and conducting educational robotics laboratories in primary and secondary school which are aimed at the improvement of mathematical logical thought and problem-solving strategies.

Dr. La Pagaila is the author of several scientific papers published in the area of methods and psychology assessment tools and the use of virtual reality and the Internet in medicine and  training. In 2013, La Paglia received “The 2013 Young Minds Research Award and since 2008, he has participated at each CYPSY conference.

To showcase outstanding achievements in a student poster submission to the CYPSY Conference, the Young Minds Research Awards, sponsored by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers, are presented to those projects judged to have the greatest potential to contribute to the innovative field of cyberpsychology, cybertherapy, training, & rehabilitation.

We are proud to announce our two poster winners, Jonathan Shalom from Israel and the lab of Soledad Quero from Spain. Mr. Shalom is currently a Ph.D candidate from Ben-Gurion University in Israel and presented his work ‘Social Anxiety and Physiological Arousal in Computer Mediated vs. Face-to-Face CommPatients’. Soledad Quero and her students from the Universitat Jaume I in Spain presented two posters: Expectations and Satisfaction with Traditional CBT versus CBT supported by ICTs & An Online Self-Applied Program for Drug Use Prevention in Adolescents (PREVEN-TIC FORMATIVO): the Professionals’ Assessment.

Congratulations and thank you to the winners for their dedication and passion in moving CYPSY forward.

Clinical Psychologist Discusses Pioneering Innovation in Virtual Reality Therapy for New Museum Exhibition

May 16, 2012, Silver Spring, Md.: Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCIA, executive vice president of the Virtual Reality Medical Center, recently shared stories of using virtual reality technology to treat soldiers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, for a new multimedia exhibit installation at the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

In a video interview, Wiederhold explained that her organization was originally using virtual reality computer simulation technology to treat patients with phobias, panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder from being involved in motor vehicle accidents. However when soldiers began being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, the technology was adapted to not only treat soldiers coming back from the battlefields, but also to prepare troops getting ready to go into battle.

 

To see the full article, click here.