Sure, the EON Icube can be used for a variety of different applications. But today, we’re proud to announce that our technology has been used in the research efforts of those at Babes-Bolyai University (BBU) in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in the Matrix Platform. Led by Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David, at the International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health at BBU, the Matrix Platform utilized EON Reality’s immersive EON Icube environment throughout the project to examine the efficacy of Virtual Reality treatments over more traditional methods of psychotherapy.
The study is a Virtual Reality-based psychotherapy project studying online therapy for social anxiety and computer mediated psychological interventions in child and adolescent anxiety disorders. After five years of research, the following observations were collected:
- The psychotherapeutic interventions using Virtual Reality technology (i.e., 3D) have most of the time the same efficacy as the classical forms of psychotherapy (i.e., evidence-based treatments). Some studies even show that, under certain circumstances, interventions through Virtual Reality can be slightly more effective than the classical interventions.
- Intervention based on the broadly defined virtual technologies (e.g. online/ web/ computer/ hologram) are also typically as effective as the classical forms of psychotherapy (at least for subclinical psychological problems, various depressive and anxiety disorders).
- Robotic-enhanced psychotherapy (i.e., robotherapy), in the form of robotic-enhanced cognitive-behavior interventions, proved efficacious, as compared to various control conditions, for autistic spectrum disorders.
- Hence, the idea that the technology is artificial and can negatively affect the human relationship in the psychotherapy process is false.
- Generally speaking, the virtual technology augmented psychotherapy (e.g., virtual flights relating flight phobias) is often safer and it can be applied to a broader segments of population:
- To those who do not accept the direct exposure (i.e., in vivo exposure in classical exposure therapy) to the stressful environment;
- To those who cannot imagine (i.e., in vitro exposure) the stressful environment;
- To those who cannot be confronted anymore with the stressful event (e.g., PTSD related to war, rape);
- When the therapist is accessible only as a hologram or online/web/ computer.
- Compared to the classical psychological assessment tools (e.g., pen and paper psychological tests) the use of technology for assessment may lead to the measurement of additional and/or different psychological mechanisms.
- Conclusion – in the future the standard intervention and assessment approaches will be the Virtual Reality-enhanced evidence-based therapy (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy) and Virtual Reality-enhanced evidence-based assessment.
In addition to all the above, the activity of the Matrix Platform can be seen from a multilevel perspective in terms of research (e.g., academic publications and conference presentations), education and relationship with the community (e.g., doctoral and master thesis; visits of people from community: social, economic, and business areas), innovative clinical services to the community (e.g., clients from all over the country benefited from the innovative clinical services provided by the Matrix Platform; services were offered for free to clients involved in our controlled clinical studies) and prestige (e.g., invited presentations at prestigious international universities/ institutions; collaboration networks). “The Matrix Platform is devoted to advanced frontier interdisciplinary research, seeking out new technologies to improve human mind, human potential, and human mental health and well-being,” said Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David, President and Executive Director of the International Institute, Babes-Bolyai University.
Congratulations to those at BBU for all your hard work and research in this field! We hope to see Virtual Reality make great footprints in research and evidence-based therapies!