Treating Serious Mental Illness Through Virtual Reality, OxfordVR Wins FDA Award For Innovative Devices At Its Game

GameChange is a prescription-only automated virtual reality cognitive therapy designed to reduce avoidance anxiety and distress in everyday situations, reduce paranoia and improve quality of life for individuals (18+ years) with schizophrenia spectrum disorders or an affective diagnosis with psychotic symptoms, who find it difficult to Leaving their home due to anxiety, which prevents them from leading a normal life, including going out in public.

The National Institute of Mental Health It is estimated that about 5.6% of adults in United State (14.2 million) suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI). Of these ~40% have schizophrenia spectrum disorders and affective disorders with psychotic symptoms. These conditions are irreversibly debilitating and are associated with early morbidity. the total The extra cost of schizophrenia Alone in the United States, it was estimated at 281.6 billion dollars in the year 2020.

The Food and Drug Administration maintains a breakthrough status for new technologies that provide more effective treatment or diagnosis of diseases or conditions that are life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating, helping patients and providers to gain faster access to these innovative treatments. GameChange has the potential to help many patients get better care, faster, without relying on 1:1 access to treatment.

“Serious mental illness is a formidable problem that cannot be solved by current methods alone. It is a huge win for patients and the mental health industry that the FDA recognizes that this technology has the potential to be a more effective way to treat people with some mental illness,” said Deepak Gopalakrishna, OxfordVR CEO and Co-founder:

Schizophrenia spectrum disorders and affective disorders with psychotic symptoms are characterized by periods of psychosis in which individuals lose touch with reality and may have difficulty understanding what is real and what is not. many people They struggle with a debilitating fear of being out in everyday situations, and they are very interested in receiving treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for these challenges, but access to this psychotherapy is hampered by a shortage of clinicians. gameChange addresses this predicament by including therapy in the form of a virtual therapist, allowing a variety of mental health staff and peer counselors to support patients’ treatment, reducing the need for trained therapists, and creating scalability. Additionally, patients can use the therapy in the comfort of their own home or at a local mental health clinic.

The OxfordVR platform delivers fully automated CBT within safe and immersive virtual scenarios that guide patients through simulating everyday situations: a coffee shop, a shop, a pub, a street, a doctor’s office, a bus. OxfordVR’s virtual reality app allows to scale gold standard treatments such as CBT and improve a patient’s quality of life in just six weeks. The standard course of CBT in the comparison lasted 16 weeks.

Patients who participated recently Clinical trial that validated the gameChange treatment, reported higher satisfaction, reported greater confidence, less anxiety and worry, and the ability to perform previously unimaginable activities. Experience has shown that the more acute the patient’s fears, the more effective the GameChange treatment.

“The gameChange trial showed that immersive therapies can really help people with severe mental illness, beyond current applications such as mild anxiety or insomnia. The most severe patients in our trial experienced a 49% decrease in avoidance, a 41% decrease in paranoia and 21% increase in quality of life after receiving only 3 hours of GameChange VR over 6 weeks, with benefits maintained for 6 months after treatment,” Gopalakrishna said.

One participant said, “GameChange therapy has changed my life. I’m more confident in myself. I’m more confident about others. I see GameChange helping everyone. I think everyone will use it.” Another participant said: “If anyone had the opportunity to do a virtual reality therapy, I would really recommend it because it has made a huge difference for me. After seven years of illness, I feel so much better. I have been able to make eye contact with people more, without really feeling anxious, I was able to walk down the street without worrying about anyone walking towards me. I can now go to a coffee shop. I feel more confident about going on a bus. I feel more confident than I used to.”

The FDA’s designation opens the door to a broader use of virtual reality technology in mental health care and is part of a growing swell of regulatory and industry support for digital therapies to play a pivotal role in resolving the current mental health care crisis. This seismic shift is reflected in recent political changes as well. At the federal level, support for digital treatments is evident in the change in approach from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which has recently been Advertising Indicates the path to future reimbursement for these treatments.

“With the tremendous support of the Food and Drug Administration, GameChange will lead a transformation in the digital provision of evidence-based psychotherapy for some of the most challenging mental health problems, with widespread dissemination of truly successful treatments,” said OxfordVR Scientific Co-Founder. Mr Daniel Freeman (Principal Investigator, Department of Psychiatry, Oxford university).

OxfordVR works with leading hospitals and mental healthcare institutions in the US and UK to help improve the quality of life for patients with serious mental health conditions including the UK’s National Health System (NHS)

About OxfordVR

OxfordVR is a digital therapy company that develops immersive, evidence-based treatments using virtual reality for serious mental illnesses. revolve from Oxford universityOur treatments are based on more than 25 years of research from the professor Daniel Freeman From Oxford university. The company has built a strong foundation for clinical validation through numerous clinical trials and real-world publications since its inception in 2017. OxfordVR is dedicated to improving access to mental health on a global scale by using immersive technology to automate gold-standard treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (cognitive therapy). behavioral) without having to rely on increasingly scarce and expensive clinical resources.

The gameChange experience from Oxford VR, in partnership with Oxford university And the NHS is the world’s largest trial using virtual reality for mental health. The results have been published in Lancet PsychiatryThe trial evaluated the effectiveness of individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and affective disorders with psychotic symptoms using GameChange at home or in an NHS mental health clinic to reduce severe anxiety and distress associated with everyday situations. For many patients, these fears mean that they avoid leaving the home, severely disrupting relationships with family and friends, their education, and their professions. The company’s virtual reality software has been shown to be more effective at improving anxiety and distress, reducing paranoia and improving quality of life, when delivered alongside standard care, than standard care alone.

During the trial, the patients who benefited most were those who found it difficult to leave the house, and those with the most psychological symptoms, such as severe anxiety, depression, delusions and hallucinations. These patients achieved significant benefits – eg, the ability to perform activities that they previously would have found out of the question. These benefits were maintained at a six-month follow-up. Patient reviews showed that the treatment was very popular, with very high rates of acceptance and satisfaction.

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Source: OxfordVR