VR TierOne is a Polish technological company that enables the treatment of depression and anxiety using virtual reality. They've been listed among...
VR TierOne is a Polish technological company that enables the treatment of depression and anxiety using virtual reality. They’ve been listed among the most interesting Health Tech startups and projects due to their utilization of tools commonly associated with entertainment (VR glasses) to support doctors in improving patients’ mental health. Their activities are described in the following passage.
New technologies offer us various forms of „escape” from everyday problems into what’s termed virtual reality. While playing video games is a beloved entertainment activity for many, it’s still stereotypically seen as a waste of time and something that can harm our health in the long run. Is that perception justified?
Specialists at VR TierOne demonstrate that solutions commonly used only for entertainment can effectively expedite the treatment of patients suffering from depression or anxiety. The creation of this solution involved two seemingly unrelated industries. Paweł Pasternak, the CEO of VR TierOne, has been involved in virtual reality for years, seeing it as an opportunity for an innovative approach to many contemporary world problems. However, it was only after meeting with his high school colleague, Professor Joanna Szczepańska-Gieracha, a psychologist and therapist working in neurological departments and conducting scientific research on the impact of mental health on patients, that he fully realized how VR could support the healing process.
Supporting patients in hospitals
During conventional therapy, patients not only grapple with their conditions but also contend with the unpleasant environment of certain hospital wards. The cold colors of the rooms, equipment worn by time, and the necessity of sharing unfamiliar space with other patients constitute the reality of Polish hospitals. Patients undergoing necessary treatment experience additional stressors that do not contribute to their recovery. Hence, the idea of using a „virtual escape” tool and creating a calming reality within the unfriendly walls of medical facilities.
Expanding conventional treatment
The VR program designed in collaboration with doctors, based on Ericksonian psychotherapy principles, serves as an additional „antidepressant” that doesn’t disrupt conventional therapy. It’s a toolset support for psychologists, therapists, and rehabilitators who often face the challenge of patients’ poor mental state, resulting in a lack of motivation for exercises. The goal of VR TierOne is to quickly mentally prepare the patient for therapeutic or rehabilitation sessions within their treatment cycle.
Health Tech of the Week
One of the reasons VR TierOne is a noteworthy Health Tech company worth observing is their prioritization of patients’ mental health. Instead of solely focusing on physical symptoms and restoring „body” functionality, the startup emphasizes the role of well-being in the healing process. Medical personnel can also benefit from this solution, as they, too, require appropriate relaxation during or after work due to their significant responsibilities. Currently, users of this solution include public hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation centers, therapy practices, as well as foundations and higher education institutions where the need for mental relaxation and mental health care is also appreciated. The company has also created a mobile relaxation device called VR TierOne GO and is working on developing a therapeutic game. They plan to leverage the knowledge gained in the Polish market in international markets and are currently in the phase of seeking international distributors.