Virtual reality has already been assisting treatments for mental illnesses, such as phobias, anxiety, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Digital apps are already widely being used by the NHS to support patient’s mental health and with the cost of technologies falling, it’s predicted that medical care and therapy will seek to further utilise digital technologies to include wider use of VR in mental health care.
Dr Albert “Skip” Rizzo, the Director of Medical Virtual Reality at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, spoke at the Psych Congress Elevate conference in 2020, stating that VR should be used as a tool in conjunction with traditional methods: “We’re not eliminating the need for well-trained clinicians,” he said. “In fact, what we’re really doing is giving clinicians tools to extend their skills. Technology doesn’t fix anyone. It’s a tool in the hands of a well-trained clinician.”
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