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Keynote Address: Ten Years of Virtual Reality Clinical Practice - Lessons Learned

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1 Author(s)
Wiederhold, M. ; Interactive Media Inst., San Diego, CA

Summary form only given. Having incorporated advanced technologies into the practice of behavioral healthcare over the past decade, I have come to realize the power of these technologies in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of a variety of disorders, ranging from specific phobias, to addictions, to physical injuries. What has also become apparent is the difficulty that many providers feel when incorporating a new technology into their existing protocols and practices. There are several factors which may contribute directly to this difficulty. One factor is space. Although we as technology adopters feel the space requirements are no longer overwhelming, the average psychologist only has a one room office. This room is already filled with a comfortable sofa, a chair, and possibly, though not always, one computer for basic internet and word-processing. In contrast, many VR clinics use "augmented reality" pieces for different phobias. For example, in a "fear of flying" room, there may be 4 airline seats, attached to a platform with subwoofers mounted underneath to help simulate motion during takeoff, turbulence and landing. In addition, there is one personal computer for the VR software, one computer and an adaptive device for the physiological monitoring and feedback, and then the head mounted display (HMD). As we move forward into the second decade of VR and behavioral healthcare, we may well see more adopters of technology as the cost barrier comes down. The space issues will not go away nor will the skill issues. It is our duty and our challenge as early adopters to educate others on the benefits of adding technology to existing protocols and practice. It is not always easy to get others to see the wisdom of this, but this should remain our goal

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Virtual Rehabilitation, 2006 International Workshop on

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