Automated protocolised psychological treatments delivered using cutting edge VR technology

Our therapeutic approach

We build treatments using state of the art immersive technology

We know that the most effective treatments are active: patients go into the situations they find difficult and practise more helpful ways of thinking and behaving.  This is often impractical in face-to-face therapy, but easily done in VR.

We take a cognitive therapy approach, basing therapeutic techniques on a tested theoretical model of each problem. The automated therapy is therefore tailored for each condition, with its efficacy demonstrated in clinical trials.

Automated simulation

OVR therapy is automated using a virtual coach for therapy delivery, standardising clinical excellence and adherence to protocol with genuine ease of use

Experience on demand

In VR we can create powerful simulations of the scenarios in which psychological difficulties occur, providing a safe space to try new behaviour

Learning that translates 

Despite a simulated environment, the mind and body behave as if it were real. This means that the lessons learned in VR transfer into everyday life

Supported by research

Studies have demonstrated VR’s extraordinary potential to deliver rapid, lasting improvements in psychological health

VR Study Review

In 2017 a review was completed by Professor Daniel Freeman of every study that has used VR to assess, understand and treat mental health conditions. In over 25 years, and 285 studies across the range of anxiety disorders, the results unequivocally confirm that VR is a proven modality for delivering rapid, lasting improvement for patients.

In early 2018 Oxford VR with the University of Oxford conducted one of the largest randomised controlled trials of fear of heights treatments, in which 100 people who had suffered a fear of heights for an average of 30 years were randomly allocated either automated VR therapy or no treatment. The VR therapy was delivered via 30-minute interventions in a clinic, where a virtual assistant guided users through a cognitive treatment program. On average, people spent approximately two hours in VR over five treatment sessions.

The findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry, showed results that were better than outcomes typically delivered by premium face-to-face therapy. All participants in the VR group showed a reduction in their fear of heights, with the average reduction being 68%. Half of the participants saw a reduction in their fear of over 75%. These results demonstrate the dramatic effects on psychological wellbeing that automated VR therapy can produce.

The gameChange project

Oxford VR is a partner in the ground-breaking NHS-funded gameChange project. People with psychosis can find day-to-day life so anxiety-provoking that they withdraw. Everyday tasks like getting on a bus, doing the shopping or speaking to other people can become extremely challenging.

It is well documented that what works best is active coaching in the situations that trouble people, helping patients move beyond their fears. However, this is difficult without a skilled therapist who has the time to get out and about with patients. Equally, patients can often find the idea frightening. The gameChange study will take people into sophisticated simulations of the real-life scenarios they find troubling. These scenarios are delivered in a graduated way so patients are never presented with situations beyond their ability to cope.

Patient experience

The experience of VR therapy triggers the same psychological and physiological reactions as real-life situations, meaning that what people learn from VR stays with them in the real world

Patient story – meet Richard

Patient story – meet Fay

Patient story – meet Alison

Building the virtual world

The right team

Oxford VR’s developers are drawn from the gaming industry. They apply their animation, illustration and programming skills to help ensure the treatments are not only effective, but also engaging and easy to use.

Latest technology

Each VR treatment uses high-quality simulations that promote the best clinical experience.

Clinically validated programs

We develop clinically validated, cost-effective, user-centred cognitive treatments for clinical conditions with significant impact on patients, the health system and wider economy.

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