Events

Albert “Skip” Rizzo: “Virtual Reality Goes to War: Innovations in Military Behavioral Healthcare”

August 3, 2012 | Orlando, FL

Speaker: Albert "Skip" Rizzo
Host: American Psychological Association Convention

Abstract: War is perhaps one of the most challenging situations that a human being can experience. The physical, emotional, cognitive and psychological demands of a combat environment place enormous stress on even the best-prepared military personnel. Numerous reports indicate that the incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in returning OEF/OIF military personnel is creating a significant healthcare challenge. This situation has served to motivate research on how to better develop and disseminate evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other psychosocial conditions. In this regard, Virtual Reality delivered exposure therapy for PTSD is currently being used with initial reports of positive outcomes. This presentation will detail how virtual reality applications are being designed and implemented across various points in the military deployment cycle to prevent, identify and treat combat-related PTSD in OIF/OEF Service Members and Veterans. We will also present recent work being done with artificially intelligent virtual humans that serve in the role as “Virtual Patients” for clinical training of healthcare providers in both military and civilian settings and as online healthcare guides for breaking down barriers to care. The projects in these areas that will presented have been developed at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, a U.S. Army University Affiliated Research Center, and will provide a diverse overview of how virtual reality is being used to deliver exposure therapy, assess PTSD and cognitive function, provide stress resilience training prior to deployment and its use in breaking down barriers to care.