Virtual Rehab’s evidence-based solutions leverage the advancements in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies for psychological rehabilitation of vulnerable populations
Dear Virtual Rehab Partners,
Hope you are well and safe along with your family, friends, and loved ones.
In this article, we will post a question and an answer format about Virtual Rehab. We have put together a series of questions and answers which you may have thought about. Our intention is to address any pondering questions which you may have about our business.
In case we forget anything (or you may think of something else), then please do not hesitate to let us know and we will be glad to address any of the additional questions which you may have.
Question # 1
In one sentence, what is Virtual Rehab?
Answer # 1
Virtual Rehab offers Psychological Rehabilitation for Vulnerable Populations.
Question # 2
OK. Cool. Tell us a bit more.
Answer # 2
Virtual Rehab’s evidence-based solution leverages the advancements in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies for pain management, prevention of substance use disorders, enhancement of autistic individuals’ communication skills, and rehabilitation of repeat offenders.
Question # 3
What is the problem which Virtual Rehab is trying to address?
Answer # 3
Virtual Rehab is addressing a very serious problem. Below are some of the key statistics:
- 1 in 4 people will be affected by mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives
- Around 450 million suffer today — placing mental disorders among leading causes of ill-health and disability
- More than 20% of adults (aged 60+) suffer from mental or neurological disorder (that is more than 400 million by 2050)
- Alcohol and Substance Use account for 5.4% of world’s total percentage of disease
- Globally, 39 deaths per 100 000 population are attributable to Alcohol and illicit Drug use
- Drug & Alcohol relapse statistics may reach up to 90% following a period of recovery
- In the U.S. alone, 116 million adults struggle with chronic pain at a cost of $635 billion in lost productivity and treatment
- In 2012, healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers. Note that 100 people die every day due to opioid drug overdoses
- Close to 800 000 commit suicide annually
- 300 million are affected by depression
- 1 in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- In the U.S. alone, 66% of released offenders recidivize within 3 years and 77% within 5 years
- Lack of focus on mental health & psychological well-being
Question # 4
What are some of the existing research results which prove the efficacy of virtual reality?
Answer # 4
Please find below some of the researches which have been conducted which prove the efficacy of the virtual reality solution. There are way more than these and kindly refer to our white paper for an extensive list in the references section.
- Among 244 children (2–16 yrs. old) receiving vaccination, using VR resulted in 45% to 74% decrease in pain
- Burn patients reported a 35% to 50% decrease in perceived pain when using VR with standard pharmacologic treatment
- Researchers at Duke University are showing that when recovering people develop strategies to avoid relapse in a virtual world, they are able to take those strategies and use them in real-world situations
- VR significantly reduced the amount of opioid medication administered during painful wound care procedures
- VR can be used as a treatment tool for enhancing behavior modification goals to support healthy eating habits by reinforcing these goals in life–like situations
Question # 5
Why are we using virtual reality as part of your solution?
Answer # 5
The use of virtual reality has been growing year-over-year. Below are some key metrics:
- $80 billion are the projected revenue of using virtual and augmented reality by 2025
- $5.1 billion will be the worldwide market for virtual and augmented reality in healthcare by 2025
- 73% is the cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) in healthcare driven by training and simulation apps and services
Question # 6
What is the market size for the Virtual Rehab solution?
Answer # 6
The market size for the Virtual Rehab addictions prevention solution is huge. Please find below some key statistics.
- Over 261 million individuals worldwide suffer from substance use addiction
- Over $136 billion are spent worldwide on prevention and treatment
Now, since not all countries are actively doing something (i.e. have programs to combat addiction), these numbers decrease as per the below.
- Over 175 million individuals undergo addiction prevention and treatment programs
- Over $90 billion is the global spend on the Virtual Rehab market
Question # 7
What are the main pillars which make up the Virtual Rehab solution?
Answer # 7
The main pillars which make up the Virtual Rehab solution are the following:
- Virtual Reality: A virtual simulation of the real world using cognitive behavior and exposure therapy to trigger and to cope with temptations
- Artificial Intelligence: A patented unique expert system to identify areas of risk, to make treatment recommendations, and to predict post-therapy behavior
- Blockchain: A secure network to ensure privacy and decentralization of all data and all information relevant to vulnerable populations
- VRH Token: An ERC20 utility token that empowers users to acquire services and to be rewarded for seeking help through Virtual Rehab’s online portal
Question # 8
Isn’t virtual reality used for gaming?
Answer # 8
Indeed. Virtual Reality has been well-known across the gaming industry, especially over the past couple of years. However, we are seeing more extensive adoption across many different sectors including the healthcare industry. In fact, what people tend to forget is that virtual reality was first used back in 1994 by Kaiser Permanente to treat acrophobics (people who are afraid of heights) and the results were over 90% successful. Moreover, it was also used to treat returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and that was also over 70% successful. We are also seeing implementations for autism, lazy eye treatment, phobias, anxiety disorders, and other specialties as well.
Question # 9
What does Virtual Rehab focus on?
Answer # 9
Virtual Rehab focuses on enhancing a user’s mental health and psychological well-being. This is offered through presenting users with real-life situations (in a virtual world) where they need to make difficult decisions or challenging choices about certain aspects of their lives or their surroundings.
Question # 10
How can you use Virtual Rehab for addiction treatment?
Answer # 10
Virtual Rehab’s solution is used as a preventative tool from relapsing back into addiction. Using real-life virtual simulation, users are subjected heads-on with their cravings. Leveraging cognitive behavior and exposure therapy, users are presented with stimuli (i.e. cues or triggers), such as an alcohol bottle or a drug syringe or similar stimuli, where as a physician, a psychologist, or a therapist, you can monitor the patients’ behavior and decision-making accordingly.
Question # 11
Doesn’t the patient already know that this is not real-life but rather a simulation?
Answer # 11
Sure they do. However, different from one-on-one or group therapy sessions, where a patient may not be comfortable sharing all his/her information since they are afraid of certain repercussions, the Virtual Rehab solution allows and forces a patient into making certain decisions and confronting their cravings accordingly. Therefore, what you may not be able to realize within a therapy session, you will be able to observe and to monitor as part of the virtual simulation.
Question # 12
Does Virtual Rehab gather data from this virtual simulation?
Answer # 12
Yes we do. That is where our patented unique expert system, which leverages artificial intelligence kicks-in. Throughout the virtual simulation, and through the use of certain APIs, we gather data pertaining to the decisions being made by the user along with their actions and reactions to the scenarios we subject them to. In addition, we collect biometrics (heart rate, blood pressure, and biodermal activity) as well as using eye-tracking, we can detect the actual impact that the virtual simulation has on the patient.
Question # 13
How about if a patient denies that they have been impacted by their cravings?
Answer # 13
That is very possible, and we have seen this happen. However, the gathered data do not lie. So, if the patient tells you that they have not been impacted by their cravings, although you do see an increase in the patient’s heart rate or blood pressure or the patient looking intensely at these triggers, then you can tell them, well the data is telling us otherwise, and you will have all the proofs supporting your claims.
Question # 14
What is the objective of your unique expert system which leverages artificial intelligence?
Answer # 14
Virtual Rehab’s patented unique expert system which leverages artificial intelligence is used to:
- Identify areas of risk
- Make treatment recommendations (along with any medication which has been prescribed by the medical doctor, the psychologist, or the therapist)
- Predict the future behavior of the user post-therapy session
Question # 15
Is the Virtual Rehab solution evidence-based?
Answer # 15
Yes it is indeed. Virtual Rehab’s solution is built based on extensive research which has been conducted across several leading universities within the US, South Korea, and China. We have also conducted our own studies based on the Virtual Rehab solution.
Question # 16
How successful were the Virtual Rehab studies?
Answer # 16
Pretty successful. Our results showed that 87% of participating patients have shown an overall improvement across various metrics within the following categories:
1- Problem Recognition & Acceptance
2- Openness to Change
3- Locus of Control
4- Decision-Making Influences
5- Emotional Intelligence & Regulation
6- Motivation & Resilience
Do you have any research backing-up that the Virtual Rehab solution prevents relapse?
Answer # 17
Relapse is something that needs to be measured on a prolonged period of time and we are currently closely monitoring those who have used the Virtual Rehab solution to find out whether they relapse or not. So far, the results have been promising. Having said that, kindly note that the current relapse statistics are horrible. We know that 50% to 90% of those going through traditional therapy are relapsing within a period of days, weeks, or months.
Question # 18
Is Virtual Rehab a stand-alone solution and does it replace the need for medication along with the need to see psychologists, therapists, or physicians?
Answer # 18
Virtual Rehab is not a stand-alone solution. Although we have seen the positive impact attained thus far, we strongly recommend that our solution becomes packaged as part of the overall treatment plan. Virtual Rehab compliments the existing efforts of medical doctors, psychologists, therapists, and is there to provide further support and intelligence into a patient’s mental health and psychological mindset. In fact, psychologists, therapists, and physicians will leverage the Virtual Rehab solution to gain further insight into a patient’s mental health, something that they may not to fully gain through a therapy session.
Question # 19
Can Virtual Rehab be used for training?
Answer # 19
Absolutely. Virtual Rehab can be used for:
- Training correctional officers to deal with difficult situations (such as a fight that may erupt inside a prison and external force is needed to intervene)
- Repeat offender training to prepare them to re-enter and to be an effective part of society (ex: teaching them how to use an ATM machine, how to fix a car, etc.)
- Can also be used by medical doctors, psychologists, and therapists as a tool to learn how to deal with difficult situations which they may encounter with their patients
- Training army veterans regarding what to expect in the battle field and ways of dealing with difficult situations (such as the death of a comrade, etc.)
There are many training scenarios which Virtual Rehab can address.
Question # 20
What differentiates Virtual Rehab from the rest of the crowd?
Answer # 20
Virtual Rehab does not simply offer a virtual reality experience. We go way beyond that by providing an end-to-end solution which our partners can make best use of. Along with the customized virtual reality programs developed for our partners’ specific needs, our patented unique expert system allows our partners to use a large number of data to tailor the treatment plans for each user as per the needs of the patient along with any existing prescribed medication. The FDA has released a report (end of 2017) which proves that combining technology (in the form of apps) along with medication can result in a decreased rate of relapse; imagine magnifying this with real-life experiences; the results are multiplied even more. In addition, using predictive analysis, our solution allows psychologists, therapists, and physicians to predict the behavior of a patient post-release from a rehab facility, hospital, prison, or jail.
Question # 21
Who would you say are Virtual Rehab’s competitors? And how is your service offering a better option than theirs?
Answer # 21
First off, we love our competitors (we are very serious on this point), as they are also doing something to improve the mental health and psychological well-being of those who need it most. Having said that, we have by far a more advanced solution, and are regarded as the leader within the addiction and corrections industries.
Please find below a table which highlights our main competitors and ways in which Virtual Rehab is far more superior.
Question # 22
So, what would you say is Virtual Rehab’s competitive advantage?
Answer # 22
Below are Virtual Rehab’s key competitive advantage:
- First Mover Advantage (Addiction & Corrections)
- Market Leader Status
- Strong Brand Recognition
- Patented Unique Expert System (Identifies Areas of Risk, Makes Treatment Recommendations in Addition to Any Prescribed Medication, Predicts Future Behavior)
- VRH Token to Incentivize Patients to use the Virtual Rehab solution AND seek Help and Counseling (Proof of Therapy) — First ever worldwide incentive of its kind
Question # 23
How many times should the Virtual Rehab solution be used to realize the needed results?
Answer # 23
This really depends upon the situation of each user. Some patients will need to use the solution more than others until the psychologist, therapist, or physician sees an improvement in the overall behavior and mental health of the patient. We strongly recommend that the Virtual Rehab solution would be used as a compliment of any existing program or medication which the patient is undergoing. However, we do not recommend that a patient uses the Virtual Rehab solution for less than 30 times for most effective results. Programs should be repeated over and over again, until satisfactory results are achieved. In addition, each patient should only be using the Virtual Rehab solution for a maximum of 30 minutes per day and every second day of the week.
Question # 24
Why only 30 minutes per day?
Answer # 24
According to existing medical research, the use of virtual reality for a period of more than 30 minutes per day may result in potential hallucination and potential nauseous symptoms. Therefore, we only recommend the use of the Virtual Rehab solution for 30 minutes per day and every second day of the week.
Question # 25
What does the Virtual Rehab solution experience entail?
Answer # 25
Once a patient is immersed within the Virtual Rehab solution, the patient is subjected to a series of scenarios which, depending upon the specific objective of the program, the patient is challenged with a series of behavioral skill-set along with an evaluation of the patient’s mental health and psychological well-being. This may also involve testing the patient’s ability to conduct a certain activity and/or ability to complete a certain training. With the Virtual Rehab solution, our intention is to bring to life what the patient would be experiencing daily, to monitor their behavior and decisions accordingly.
Question # 26
What is a virtual reality headset?
Answer # 26
The patient wears a virtual reality headset around their head to go through the Virtual Rehab experience.
Question # 27
What are base stations?
Answer # 27
Base stations are installed at opposite ends of an empty room. Upon installation, these base stations will monitor the patient’s motion within the room’s capacity.
Question # 28
What are motion controllers?
Answer # 28
The patient uses motion controllers to make selections, make decisions, and to carry, throw, or hand things as part of the Virtual Rehab experience.
Question # 29
Why do we need an empty room?
Answer # 29
The empty room provides the patient with the ability to freely move around and feel immersed within the Virtual Rehab experience without any distractions. Please note that the patient can also use the motion controllers to teleport (move around) from one location to another.
Question # 30
What kind of virtual reality hardware does Virtual Rehab use?
Answer # 30
Virtual Rehab currently uses HTC VIVE as our hardware provider. However, in the future, we will be providing our users with a wider range of headsets, which are affordable and provide a great experience.
Question # 31
What are the main concerns that you have faced with your clients?
Answer # 31
Some of our clients initially believed that Virtual Rehab was trying to entertain addicts and repeat offenders. However, once they understood the fact that we are purely using the Virtual Rehab solution to enhance a user’s mental health and psychological well-being along with the fact that everything we do is complimented with existing research supporting our activity, there was no further hesitation. Another concern internet accessibility (since some facilities do not allow patients to have access to internet). This concern was alleviated once they realized that the Virtual Rehab solution does not require any access to internet beyond initial set-up and installation activity.
Question # 32
Do you provide installation support of the Virtual Rehab system?
Answer # 32
Absolutely. Our team provides complete set-up and support of the Virtual Rehab system through the help of our on-site field engineer. For our business partners, we also assign a dedicated resource to ensure that all their questions are answered and any support need is fulfilled.
For end-users, installation will be conducted by the end-user. However, we will provide an end-user support line for any questions or support requests needed.
Question # 33
Do you provide training on the use of the Virtual Rehab system?
Answer # 33
Yes. At the time of launch, for our business partners, Virtual Rehab assigns an on-site engineer to train all staff along with users on the use of the Virtual Rehab solution for the first week. We also assign, afterwards, a dedicated support personnel to help with any questions or support requests needed.
For our end-users, we will create a video on ways to use the Virtual Rehab system, and will provide an end-user support line for any questions or support requests needed.
Question # 34
What are some of the notable successes of Virtual Rehab?
Answer # 34
Some of our notable successes include the following:
- Evidence-based solution with proven efficacy results approved by physicians, psychologists, and therapists
- 87% of participating patients have shown an overall improvement across various metrics
- Described by US Digital Government Head as a “capability that is very very promising for public services”
- Only VR/AI company included in the US Department of Justice, Institute of Corrections Environmental Scan report
- Partnership agreements in-place across the North America, Europe, Middle East, and APAC regions
- Only company to represent Canada as part of the Canadian Delegation to Arab Health
- Selected as one of Canada’s most promising high-growth life sciences companies (Dose of the Valley, CA)
- Featured by Microsoft’s leadership team at the Microsoft Inspire Innovation Session
- Nominated by The Wall Street Journal for the WSJ D.LIVE Startup Showcase (Laguna Beach, CA)
- Ranked by Spanish media as the first option for training correctional officers and rehabilitation of offenders using virtual reality
- Founder awarded with the “Expert” status by the United Nations Global Sustainable Consumption & Production (SCP) Programme with focus on Sustainable Lifestyle and Education
- Selected as one of the top innovative companies in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and will be included within the Montreal Innovation Ecosystem publication
- Ranked 1st in “Top 10 To Watch” by England’s 21Cryptos Magazine
- Nominated for 2019 Global Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Awards
- Featured by the media across 28 countries
Question # 35
Do you have a quick overview of the overall Virtual Rehab solution?
Answer # 35
Yes indeed. Below you will find a link to two short videos highlighting the overall solution for Virtual Rehab tailored to substance use disorders as well as corrections.
Question # 36
Can you show us an example of how your product looks like?
Answer # 36
Absolutely. Kindly see below a video which provides a sample of a selection of our product offering.
Question # 37
What is the Virtual Rehab Online Portal used for?
Answer # 37
The Virtual Rehab Online Portal is a repository which contains all programs which are developed by the Virtual Rehab team (and reviewed and approved by medical doctors, psychologists, or therapists prior to deploying them to our clients). It also includes all the data which has been collected from the Virtual Rehab experience executed by the users. Moreover, it can be used to provide certain access and restrictions to the users by a facility administrator. Please find below a screenshot of the Virtual Rehab Online Portal.
Question # 38
Why does Virtual Rehab needs a blockchain?
Answer # 38
That’s a great question. We have actually written an extensive article around this. This article resulted in Virtual Rehab become a “Top Writer” on Medium.Why Does Virtual Rehab Need a Blockchain?Virtual Rehab’s evidence-based solution uses Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, & Blockchain technology for Pain…medium.com
In a nutshell, the blockchain will first allow Virtual Rehab to enter into the consumer market.
Furthermore, when dealing with the most vulnerable populations out there, privacy and security of information/data shared, become extremely important. Unfortunately, as of today, this information is publicly available and could be accessed through online databases which expose the identities of these vulnerable populations. As a result, this prevents these populations from re-integrating back into society and becoming an effective part of it as well.
Fortunately, this level of privacy/data protection can all be made possible when integrating blockchain technology as part of the Virtual Rehab solution. We will not gather the first name or the last name of these vulnerable populations — they will be associated with a wallet address. The only information which will be gathered are the age, gender, race, biometrics (heart rate, blood pressure, biodermal activity), and eye-tracking. This will ensure complete HIPAA compliance and anonymity of these vulnerable populations information/data.
Moreover, Virtual Rehab is solving an even bigger problem which is data sharing among medical institutions, correctional departments, researchers, and patients worldwide. As of today, this data cannot be accessed due to privacy and patient protection laws. However, with our Virtual Rehab solution, everyone will have access to this information, which is completely anonymous and would allow for a database of input data and metrics to be accessed, which can further enhance existing research in the area of mental health through the global collaboration of researchers and medical professionals from around the world. Patients will also be able to access this data and find some synergies or relations with their existing symptoms and attempt to apply some best practices accordingly.
Question # 39
How do you ensure that all data and all information are fully protected and private for these users? And what type of information do you collect?
Answer # 39
Virtual Rehab will not gather any personal information pertaining to these vulnerable populations. We will not seek their first or last name. Users will only be identifiable using their wallet address.
We only gather data pertaining to their age, gender, ethnicity, decisions made, all actions and reactions, and biometrics gathered throughout the Virtual Rehab experience.
Question # 40
What is the VRH token used for?
Answer # 40
The VRH utility token has four use cases:
- Allows users to order and download programs from Virtual Rehab Online Portal
- Allows users to request additional analysis and diagnosis (using Virtual Rehab’s patented unique expert system, which uses Artificial Intelligence — Predictive Analytics) of executed programs
- Incentivizes users with VRH tokens reward for using our Virtual Rehab solution AND seeking help and counselling from medical doctors, psychologists, and therapists (Proof of Therapy)
- Allows users to acquire services, with complete anonymity, at the Virtual Rehab Therapy Center (VRTC)
Question # 41
For the incentive use case, what can the user do with the VRH tokens?
Answer # 41
Users can either trade the VRH tokens on exchange for $$ or they can use the VRH tokens to purchase more services from the Virtual Rehab Online Portal.
Question # 42
For the incentive use case, how do you know that the user is not doing it for the money?
Answer # 42
That is definitely a possibility. However, just like anything in life, we sometimes tend to do things which we are forced to do in the beginning, and then we get used to them afterwards.
This is no different. In fact, it is medically proven that the more and more someone gets in the habit of doing something, they become used to it after a while.
Therefore, in this case, by allowing (or forcing, depending on how you see it) the user to visit the medical doctor, psychologist, or therapist every now and then, the user will improve their mental health and psychological mindset, and will benefit from these sessions indirectly.
Question # 43
Where can I get hold of a copy of the White Paper?
Answer # 43
Question # 44
Where can I find information about the Virtual Rehab Business Model?
Answer # 44
We have written a Medium article about the Virtual Rehab Business Model. Kindly check the URL below.Understanding The Virtual Rehab Business ModelVirtual Rehab’s evidence-based solution uses Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, & Blockchain technology for Pain…medium.com
Question # 45
Does Virtual Rehab have any existing partnerships?
Answer # 45
Indeed. Virtual Rehab has partnership across North America, Europe, Middle East, and APAC regions.
Question # 46
Who are Virtual Rehab’s partners?
Answer # 46
Virtual Rehab’s existing partners are below:
- Chains International
- Command Sourcing
- Innovative Prison Systems
- Netswitch Technology Management
- Pundi X
Question # 47
What is the Virtual Rehab Foundation?
Answer # 47
The Virtual Rehab Foundation was established to offer assistance to those who wish to make use of the Virtual Rehab solution yet cannot afford the price for acquiring our service. More detail can be found here.
Question # 48
Is Virtual Rehab involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response?
Answer # 48
Indeed. Virtual Rehab is actively involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was recently selected as part of a pool of pre-qualified suppliers by the Government of Canada to address the rising Mental Health issues resulting from the coronavirus.
And always remember …
Be Safe and Make a Difference in this World !!!
Peace Out !