Say goodbye to the therapist’s couch, VR headsets will soon be the key to 24/7 mental health care, and VR Therapy come with advantages.
Soon, mental health therapy will include immersive environments that can help patients visualize and understand their problems in a new way.
VR therapy can also help treat anxiety disorders, PTSD, depression, and other mental illnesses. It can aid addiction rehabilitation and chronic pain.
What is Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a 3D virtual reality environment accessed through the internet. It is a space where people can explore and experience different realities, including places in the past or future.
The tech industry has seen a seismic shift in awareness around the Metaverse following Facebook’s rebranding to Meta — a reflection of how the company wants to be seen as more than just a social media site, but rather as an experience for all senses.
The Metaverse provides a safe space for people to explore their thoughts and feelings. The anonymity of the world allows them to be vulnerable.
Loneliness Leads to Mental Health Struggles
In the age of interconnectedness, our society has become more cut-off. Harvard’s recent study reveals that 36% of all Americans feel serious loneliness, which put them at risk of graver mental health crisis.
The American Cancer Society analyzed data from more than 580,000 adults and found that social isolation increases the risk of premature death.
The Metaverse Potential for VR Therapy
The Metaverse has potential beyond gaming, including VR Therapy for mental health.
Virtual reality, or VR, is a computer-generated simulation that allows users to interact with an artificial environment, such as a 3D world or a 360-degree video. It has applications in many industries, including healthcare, where it can help patients with visualization and rehabilitation.
VR has immense healthcare industry. Hospitals are using it for training purposes, and some doctors have even begun using it to provide consultations remotely. This technology will likely expand as more companies explore its potential.
More Access, More Options
Some healthcare companies have started virtual reality projects, and others have created games to help people with mental health problems. The goal is to make VR Therapy more human.
Most People Still Prefer In-person Care
People still prefer in-person care over the Metaverse because they appreciate human connection, according to a Stanford University study. The research concluded that there are more opportunities to connect emotionally in person than in a virtual environment.
Most people appreciate their doctor’s touch and don’t want to put on a headset. Some also feel more comfortable talking about sensitive topics in person.
Moreover, many people are content with traditional ways of communication such as text, voice, and video chat.
When will we see metaverse therapy?
It would be great to see Metaverse therapy soon. However, despite all the hype, VR headsets are expensive. Even with growing usage, only 12.5 million were sold in 2021. Most people are into Metaverse for gaming, and healthcare has a long way to go.
Protecting Sensitive Client Info
With their increased online presence, healthcare providers must take steps to protect patient data. Protocols are in place for tighter email security that’s compliant with regulations.
In addition, we need further research to prove the efficacy of VR therapy and convince insurance companies to cover this new treatment method.
Lastly, the most compelling therapy offerings will provide headsets to patients, so that access to the most well-researched, cutting-edge treatments isn’t dependent upon individual purchases of VR technology by consumers.
The good news is a growing group of researchers, experts, and investors are already beginning to overcome these challenges.