What are the costs of virtual reality treatment for conditions such as PTSD? But if you are not sure what PTSD is then visit our sister article entitled virtual reality treatment for PTSD which provides an overview of VR and this disorder.
This article looks at the costs involved in doing so. Virtual reality is not cheap especially the CAVE fully immersive virtual reality systems. But there are less expensive desktop systems which are effective and useful.
No one underestimates the cost of PTSD to the individual concerned, their families, employers etc. But these costs can be more than purely monetary. Do not underestimate the costs in terms of lives affected by what can be a serious state of affairs.
Example: the Virtual Iraq system
Costs of virtual reality treatment depend upon the type of equipment being used. As an example, one type of virtual reality therapy – the ‘Virtual Iraq’ system – which is aimed at soldiers returning from that part of the world, costs around £5,000.
This system is based upon computer games and involves the soldier in a virtual environment where they are shown scenes from their tour of duty. They wear a head mounted display (HMD) which shows these images complete with sounds and even smells.
The idea is that they gradually becomes accustomed to seeing these images and learn to confront their fears. The result is a lessening of the symptoms of their disorder which will eventually disappear in time.
This is one example of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRE) which is designed to teach soldiers (and others affected by PTSD) to recall and deal with memories of the cause of their disorder. From this it is hoped that they will learn relaxation skills and coping mechanisms as a way of coming to terms with what has happened to them.