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Gaggioli A.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Gaggioli A.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Cipresso P.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Serino S.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | And 6 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2014

We describe the main features and preliminary evaluation of Positive Technology, a free mobile platform for the self-management of psychological stress (http://positiveapp.info/). The mobile platform features three main components: (i) guided relaxation, which provides the user with the opportunity of browsing a gallery of relaxation music and video-narrative resources for reducing stress; (ii) 3D biofeedback, which helps the user learning to control his/her responses, by visualizing variations of heart rate in an engaging 3D environment; (iii) stress tracking, by the recording of heart rate and self-reports. We evaluated the Positive Technology app in an online trial involving 32 participants, out of which 7 used the application in combination with the wrist sensor. Overall, feedback from users was satisfactory and the analysis of data collected online indicated the capability of the app for reducing perceived stress levels. A future goal is to improve the usability of the application and include more advanced stress monitoring features, based on the analysis of heart rate variability indexes. © 2014 The authors and IOS Press. Source


Graffigna G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Barello S.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Triberti S.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | And 3 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2014

Academic and managerial interest in patient engagement is rapidly earning attention and becoming a necessary tool for researchers, clinicians and policymakers worldwide to manage the increasing burden of chronic conditions. The concept of patient engagement calls for a reframe of healthcare organizations' models and approaches to care. This also requires innovations in the direction of facilitating the exchanges between the patients and the healthcare. eHealth, namely the use of new communication technologies to provide healthcare, is proved to be proposable to innovate healthcare organizations and to improve exchanges between patients and health providers. However, little attention has been still devoted to how to best design eHealth tools in order to engage patients in their care. eHealth tools have to be appropriately designed according to the specific patients' unmet needs and priorities featuring the different phases of the engagement process. Basing on the Patient Engagement model and on the Positive Technology paradigm, we suggest a toolkit of phase-specific technological resources, highlighting their specific potentialities in fostering the patient engagement process. © 2014 The authors and IOS Press. Source


Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Wiederhold B.K.,Interactive Media Institute | Soomro A.,NousMetrix | Riva G.,University of Milan | Wiederhold M.D.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2014

Pain symptoms have been addressed with a variety of therapeutic measures in the past, but as we look to the future, we begin encountering new options for patient care and individual health and well-being. Recent studies indicate that computer-generated graphic environments - virtual reality (VR) - can offer effective cognitive distractions for individuals suffering from pain arising from a variety of physical and psychological illnesses. Studies also indicate the effectiveness of VR for both chronic and acute pain conditions. Future possibilities for VR to address pain-related concerns include such diverse groups as military personnel, space exploration teams, the general labor force, and our ever increasing elderly population. VR also shows promise to help in such areas as drug abuse, at-home treatments, and athletic injuries. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014. Source


Wiederhold M.D.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center | Gao K.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center | Wiederhold B.K.,Interactive Media Institute | Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2014

Virtual reality (VR) has been used by clinicians to manage pain in clinical populations. This study examines the use of VR as a form of distraction for dental patients using both subjective and objective measures to determine how a VR system affects patients' reported anxiety level, pain level, and physiological factors. As predicted, results of self-evaluation questionnaires showed that patients experienced less anxiety and pain after undergoing VR treatment. Physiological data reported similar trends in decreased anxiety. Overall, the favorable subjective and objective responses suggest that VR distraction systems can reduce discomfort and pain for patients with mild to moderate fear and anxiety. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014. Source


Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Wiederhold B.K.,Interactive Media Institute | Riva G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2014

How do we lastingly change our lives for the better? There is not an easy answer to this question. However, due to the advances in psychology and neuroscience, now we have a better view of personal change, that is not limited to a specific viewpoint. In particular, the emergence of integrative and transdiagnostic accounts suggests that change is contextual, depending on the person, the issues, and the situation. More, personal change is a process, happening in discontinuous and nonlinear ways, following life transitions and traumatic events. In this process a key role can be played by technology: using the 'Positive Technology' approach it is possible to use technology to manipulate the quality of experience, with the goal of increasing wellness, and generating strengths and resilience in individuals, organizations and society. © 2014 The authors and IOS Press. Source

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