Updated: Feb 3
A joint study between Foretell Reality and Yale School of Medicine that compares VR support groups for cancer patients to traditional group therapy is starting to show some promising results according to a recent article published by MJH Life Sciences.
Ranging in age from 13-30 years old, patients have the ability to share their experiences in a safe and accessible setting without the need to travel back and forth to hospitals where they may be susceptible to infection, physical discomfort, and social unease.
Early indications are that the benefits above, as well as the option to remain anonymous, may reduce levels of anxiety and depression creating more open and meaningful interactions and communication between participants.
VR support groups also open the door to patients in underserved rural areas where travel is prohibitive and the lack of local groups can cause a feeling of isolation during a time when connection can be vital to the healing process.
Foretell Reality GM Dror Goldberg sees this study as the beginning of a paradigm shift in how VR is viewed. “There is plenty of news and case studies about VR and gaming and VR for the enterprise, but we are most interested in the ability for VR to facilitate real human connection by lowering physical and social barriers to one-to-one and group interactions. Seeing the early results of this study is exciting and a great motivator to continue to improve and add additional tools to the social experience in VR for support and therapy patients of all ages.”
As behavioral tele-health gains traction and the accessibility of VR continues to rise, studies like this one should propel large health organizations and insurers to offer VR solutions, like those from Foretell Reality, to patients who would benefit from an experience that is more lifelike and interactive than video or chat.