Overcoming addictions is extremely difficult and requires specialized therapy and moral support. For healthcare professionals, the work is just as difficult and strenuous as the patients’ road to recovery. A new virtual reality app, currently in the project stage on Kickstarter crowdfunding platform could represent a major ally for doctors and patients alike.
Interventionville, Fighting Addiction with a Virtual Reality App
The company behind the idea for Interventionville, Order 66 Labs, was founded by a doctor, Matthew Prekupec, who struggled with opioid addiction himself after a serious injury which required pain medication. Overcoming the addiction was, in the company founder’s words “physically and mentally one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do – more difficult than basic training in the Army”.
The idea of using new technologies to help patients cope with physical and mental pain during the rehabilitation treatment came to him as a result of attending a conference, which showcased the benefits of virtual reality in healthcare.
Introducing Support Groups in Virtual Environments
A key part in treating addiction is allowing the patient to interact with others in the same condition, share their stories and find comfort in each other’s dedication to succeed. Interventionville is a virtual reality app which creates a safe environment even for the most introvert patients, where they can share their story without feeling judged or inadequate.
In Dr. Matthew Prekupec’s opinion: “Mutual help groups are an essential part of a program of recovery from alcohol or drugs. By allowing the user to experience three different types of meetings in VR, while they’re in the hospital, they can find the best fit for themselves before engaging with the group in real life.”
Finding an Ideal Comfort Zone in the Virtual Reality App
Interventionville features six different environments patients can choose from to attend virtual reality support meetings:
- Doctor’s office
- Veteran’s club
Each environment was created to offer patients a safe and familiar environment where they can let go of fears and doubts and open up to share their story. Each environment is beautifully modeled and has a highly realistic look.
In the Hospital environment, patients can opt to watch graphic images of the effect of long-term addiction, by interacting with a 3D patient model. There are five different models, and each of them features the most common and devastating results of alcohol, drug and medication abuse. Given the sensitive nature of the content, patients can easily skip this feature.
The meetings featured in the virtual reality app are a very realistic simulation of real-life support group meetings. Each of them is about 15-30 minutes long, thus the entire VR experience can be completed in a few hours.
The project still accepts funding on its Kickstarter page.