PsycReality: an astonishing start-up using virtual reality to treat mental illness!

According to the World Health, one in 10 people suffer from some form of social anxiety. 60-70 percent of the patients visit clinics due to anxiety issues and about 40% of them are because of specific phobias. Far from being a silly fear, a genuine phobia can actually have a pretty big impact on someone’s life.

The major challenge for psychologists is to replicate the real phobia experience in a clinic. One method that’s used under guidance is ‘exposure therapy’, a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). But it is not always useful and convenient. Bringing objects such as snakes and dogs inside the clinic can get challenging. It usually takes about 15 to 20 sessions for a patient to get comfortable. Therefore, it is time consuming and expensive. But could Virtual Reality be the catalyst to a new, more immersive and more easily accessible experience for Mental Health patients?

The use of Virtual Reality can make the phobia appear very real in the clinic room. It allows the patient to get a realistic VR experience and psychologists can then combine it with their own their treatment processes that would substantially result in less time and potential increased earnings for the psychologists. PsycReality, an Irish Med Tech start-up founded by Bilal Awan, uses emerging technologies such as VR, AR and AI to help psychologists treat their patients and help them overcome their phobias and social anxieties quicker and more effectively. Early tests conducted by the team show significant improvements on the current market offerings with treatment time cut by almost 50%.

What makes PsycReality’s product unique is its “Pay-as-you-use” model where psychologists only have to purchase a set of VR goggles with no additional set-up costs involved. Real immersive video production of the highest quality coupled with continuous improvements to enhance the software using AI and neurofeedback tools would significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the treatment. PsycReality are seeking the support of like-minded individuals to further develop their software and enhance the lives of millions of people around the world.

Explore PsycReality!