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San Diego, CA, United States

Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Wiederhold M.D.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2010

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex, multifaceted disorder encompassing behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and physiological factors. Although PTSD was only codified in 1980, there has been an increasing interest in this area of research. Unfortunately, relatively little attention has been given to the psychological treatment of motor vehicle accident survivors, which is remarkable because vehicular collisions are deemed the number one cause of PTSD. As the emotional consequences of vehicular collisions prevail, so does the need for more effective treatments. Randomized controlled clinical trials have identified exposure-based therapies as being the most efficacious for extinguishing fears. One type of exposure-based treatment, called virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET), provides a safe, controlled, and effective therapeutic alternative that is not dependent on real-life props, situations, or even a person's imagination capabilities. This modality, while relatively new, has been implemented successfully in the treatment of a variety of anxiety disorders and may offer a particularly beneficial and intermediary step for the treatment of collision-related PTSD. In particular, VRET combined with physiological monitoring and feedback provides a unique opportunity for individuals to objectively recognize both anxiety and relaxation; learn how to manage their anxiety during difficult, albeit simulated, driving conditions; and then transfer these skills onto real-life roadways. © 2010 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 499.33K | Year: 2008

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project investigates further development of a mixed reality (MR) haptics-based virtual reality system in preparation for commercialization. This MR system will aid the physical rehabilitation of stroke patients with upper extremity disabilities. This MR system includes hardware and software designed to induce neuroplastic changes and increase mobility through mental practice, video capture body movement, and engaging mixed reality scenarios. The goals of this project will be to file the appropriate paperwork for regulatory approval of the system in preparation of use on the market, improve the system in scenarios, add mental practice and video capture scenarios, program metrics into the system, develop sensor tracking interface and telerehabilitation capabilities, and conduct clinical trial to determine system safety and efficacy. Headed by a collaborative team of qualified investigators from The Virtual Reality Medical Center, the University of Central Florida's Institute for Simulation and Training, and Kindred Hospital (consultant), this project will increase the understanding of state-of-the-art adjuncts to traditional stroke rehabilitation therapy. To date, no MR rehabilitation tool that facilitates mental practice, includes video capturing, and aids physical therapy, has ever been commercialized. The resulting marketable product will be sold to rehabilitation facilities. This STTR Phase II project will lead to the commercialization of new software and hardware that can be used for further technological developments in mixed reality systems, including those for other applications such as prosthetic limb rehabilitation for amputees. The success of this project will also add to the scientific knowledge base on what is known about mental practice in rehabilitation. With over twelve million families in the U.S. alone that have members with a physical development, success in this project will therefore pave the development and commercialization of future rehabilitation systems to help this broad and underserved population. By increasing stroke patients' upper extremity mobility and rate of recovery, this system will also increase their activities of daily, enable at-home physical therapy, relieve some of the burden of caregivers, and decrease costs in lost productivity and hospital length of stay. The commercial spin-out company resulting from success of this project will be located near the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine where future joint projects will include recruiting and training students (including those from underserved populations) in research. The commercial spin-out company will also create new jobs, taxable revenue, and income within the Florida High Tech Corridor.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.90K | Year: 2005


Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 95.02K | Year: 2007

The goal of this SBIR Phase I project is to plan, design, build, and test a true 3D stereo mixed-reality (MR) system prototype that will enhance cognitive functions in TBI soldiers by inducing neuroplasticity through interaction with an enriched environment. TBI, the signature wound of the Iraq War, is the most common combat-related injury and results in disturbances in attention, memory loss, and executive function. Comprehensive-holistic neuropsychological rehabilitation approaches are effective for remediation of attention deficits and memory impairments, but extremely costly. Finding alternative, cost-effective ways to rehabilitate soldiers would help save the military and government an enormous amount of money. The Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC) will work with The Media Convergence Lab (MCL) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and a TBI expert consultant to create a haptics-enhanced true 3D stereo mixed reality system designed to stimulate and improve cognitive functions in warfighters that suffer from TBI with the end goal of helping them return to service.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 402.92K | Year: 2007

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