Virtual Reality & Immersive Technology Program

Stanford Psychiatry's Virtual Reality & Immersive Technology (VRIT) Program is the first clinically focused academic endeavor dedicated to studying immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in mental and behavioral health settings in a broad range of disciplines.  We are a group of interdisciplinary academics passionate and called upon to evaluate, innovate, and disseminate advances in the field of virtual and augmented reality technology in real world clinical settings.

Our internal experience is powerfully shaped by physical sensations.  VR is a technology that is capable of creating perceptual illusions that can change how you feel and possibly what you believe. Your own imagination can also be thought of as the original virtual reality device.  VR is actually an extension and a booster for the imagination. For example, VR can deliver the visual and tactile experience of having poisonous spiders crawling on your body which can illicit intense emotions and urges to escape.  It can do this much more intensely than simply imagining this scenario. With the recent development and merging of three dimensional cameras with wearable and other tracking devices, we can now can provide realistic and immersive experiences that are customizable. 

 We can now personalize and precisely create experiences that can create experiential illusions that can take you to a different location, give you a different type of body, or enable you to interact in a specific social setting.  This technology provides an unprecedented level of accurate, objective, measurement based data for behavioral scientists to analyze. Some perceptual illusions show potential to permanently change the motor, sensory, and emotional systems of the brain. Our program is using these devices to transform mental, physical, and behavioral functioning.

TEST

As immersive technology and innovation moves forward, it is important that accurate assessment of its safety, efficacy, and effects on human behavioral, mental, and physiological health is observed and reported. Many of the labs in our program are involved in assessment of these objectives in their own or others innovations. In addition, measurement based care and the electronic records systems in our clinics are allowing analysis of VR interventions and their outcomes in new and efficient ways.

 We perform evaluations of immersive technology in a myriad of ways. At the most basic level we are performing feasibility evaluations by activities such as providing real world clinical expertise feedback to developers.  We also have created clinical focus groups of providers or patients as needed.   More complex evaluative activities include clinical feasibility and efficacy trials using internal and external research funding or industry sponsored grants.  Whether it be a thru a small business innovation research support (SBIR), internal seed grants, private donations, or large sought after NIH/NIMH multisite trials, VR-IT is dedicated to protecting the safety of consumers, discovering the facts, and documenting the effects of immersive technologies on the human nervous system.

It is important to distinguishing truth from claims with rigorous scientific design.  Our independent academic laboratories have systems to minimize conflicts of interest making us a wonderful unbiased partner in developing emmerging technology thru the evaluative process.

Psychiatry’s VR-IT program is uniquely positioned within a large psychiatric care system and series of clinics allowing bedside observations and hypotheses to be made.  Mental and behavioral health providers are sometimes in the best position to come up with inventions and brainstorm ideas for helping patients and providers to effectively use VR/AR technologies. Stanford campus, its community and location within the Silicon Valley offer incredibly rich networks of collaboration for developing immersive therapy ideas.  Below are some examples of the bright ideas that have emerged from our unique vantage from groups within the department who have some bright ideas for harnessing immersive technology for creating good.  Please contact us if you’d like to be involved or have ideas for us at Stanford’s VR-IT program.

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Kim Bullock, MD

Embodied Virtual Reality Therapy for Functional Neurological Symptom/ Conversion Disorder

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Hadi Hosseini, PhD

virtual reality (VR) tailored toward targeted rehabilitation of the affected brain networks in patients with neurocognitive disorders.

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Eating Disorders Team

Debra Safer, Cristin Runfola, and Sarah Adler

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Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD

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Lauren Schneider, PsyD

 

TREAT

"We are harnessing immersive technology
to rewire the brain."

 Virtual Reality and Immersive Technology (VR-IT) Clinic    combining technology with traditional cognitive behavior therapy

Virtual Reality and Immersive Technology (VR-IT) Clinic

combining technology with traditional cognitive behavior therapy

 Stanford Chariot Program   Childhood Anxiety Reduction Through Innovation and Technology

Stanford Chariot Program

Childhood Anxiety Reduction Through Innovation and Technology

TEACH

Stanford VR-IT Program interfaces with community at  many systems levels.  We want to be a leader in the creation and dissemination of best practices for virtual and immersive technology in mental and behavioral health.  Below you can see the ways we collaborate and share information to improve care.  

If you'd like to be involved, please drop us a line here.

Virtual Reality Technology Treatment for Mental Illness talk, November 2018

 
 CME CONFERENCE

CME CONFERENCE

  TRAINING PROVIDERS IN VIRTUAL REALITY DELIVERED COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY

TRAINING PROVIDERS IN VIRTUAL REALITY DELIVERED COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY

CONNECT

Collaborators

STANFORD PSYCHIATRY IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY CONSORTIUM (SPIT-C)

 SPIT-C is an interdisciplinary team composed of researchers, providers, developers and other stakeholders dedicated to transforming immersive technology into agents of change for behavior and mental health. Stanford Community and beyond are members and others are encouraged to join with us. Innovation cannot happen alone.  Join the network of conversations today! Click  here  to sign up!

SPIT-C is an interdisciplinary team composed of researchers, providers, developers and other stakeholders dedicated to transforming immersive technology into agents of change for behavior and mental health. Stanford Community and beyond are members and others are encouraged to join with us. Innovation cannot happen alone.

Join the network of conversations today! Click here to sign up!

Faculty

   Sarah Adler, PsyD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Sarah Adler, PsyD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Jeremy Bailenson, PhD      Communication

Jeremy Bailenson, PhD
Communication

   Jacob Ballon, MD, MPH   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Jacob Ballon, MD, MPH
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Kim Bullock, MD    Program Director  Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Kim Bullock, MD
Program Director

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Victor Carrion, MD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Victor Carrion, MD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Thomas Caruso, MD, MEd   Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Thomas Caruso, MD, MEd
Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

   Katharine Dahl, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Katharine Dahl, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Kara Flavin, MD   Orthopedics/Neurology

Kara Flavin, MD
Orthopedics/Neurology

   Brenda Golianu, MD   Anesthesiology, Pediatric

Brenda Golianu, MD
Anesthesiology, Pediatric

   Walter Greenleaf, PhD   Distinguished Visiting Scholar, MediaX

Walter Greenleaf, PhD
Distinguished Visiting Scholar, MediaX

   Josef Hannah, MD   Primary Care and Population Health

Josef Hannah, MD
Primary Care and Population Health

   Antonio Hardan, MD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Antonio Hardan, MD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Kate Hardy, ClinPsychD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Kate Hardy, ClinPsychD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   David Hong, MD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

David Hong, MD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Hadi Hosseini, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Hadi Hosseini, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Neda Kharrazi, Psy.D.   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Neda Kharrazi, Psy.D.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Alan Louie, MD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Alan Louie, MD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Ryan Matlow, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Ryan Matlow, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Adam Miner, PsyD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Adam Miner, PsyD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Lauren Schneider, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Lauren Schneider, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Leanne Williams, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Leanne Williams, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Samuel Rodriguez, MD   Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Samuel Rodriguez, MD
Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

   Cristin Runfola, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Cristin Runfola, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Debra Safer, MD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Debra Safer, MD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

   Manish Saggar, PhD   Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Manish Saggar, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Visiting Scholar

 Savita Bhakta, MD  Savita Bhakta, MD, is a board-certified Psychiatrist. She earned her medical degree from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College in Mumbai, India and completed her psychiatric training at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital before completing her psychiatry residency at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, and Advanced Research Fellowship at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. She is currently appointed as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and is the Co-Director for the Clinical Foundations Course at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. She specializes in evaluating and treating unique mental health and psychiatric issues in college students. Her research is funded by the UCSD-CTRI Institutional K award and focuses on developing biomarker-guided, personalized pro-cognitive therapeutics. She is currently focused on using virtual reality (VR) immersive technology for biomarker assessment and developing procognitive therapeutics. https://profiles.ucsd.edu/savita.bhakta

Savita Bhakta, MD, is a board-certified Psychiatrist. She earned her medical degree from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College in Mumbai, India and completed her psychiatric training at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital before completing her psychiatry residency at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, and Advanced Research Fellowship at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. She is currently appointed as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and is the Co-Director for the Clinical Foundations Course at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. She specializes in evaluating and treating unique mental health and psychiatric issues in college students. Her research is funded by the UCSD-CTRI Institutional K award and focuses on developing biomarker-guided, personalized pro-cognitive therapeutics. She is currently focused on using virtual reality (VR) immersive technology for biomarker assessment and developing procognitive therapeutics. https://profiles.ucsd.edu/savita.bhakta

RESOURCES

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Virtual Medicine | Cedars-Sinai | Best Practices in Medical VR

Developed by the VR clinical research team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with generous support from the Marc and Sheri Rapaport Fund for Digital Health Sciences and Precision Health and the Mayday Fund, Virtual Medicine is a two-day symposium and hands-on workshop that convenes the brightest minds in therapeutic VR. Visit their website to watch videos from the event:

https://www.virtualmedicine.health/2018-videos


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Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: "Virtual Reality Therapies for Functional Neurological Disorder" featuring Kim Bullock, MD

Follow the link below for more information and video (SUNet login required) of the event.

https://med.stanford.edu/psychiatry/education/grand_rounds.html#event=628728

CONTACT US

For more information about VR-IT, getting involved, and supporting our mission, please fill out the form below.

Please note this form is not intended for patient or clinical use.
If you are a patient or have a clinical inquiry, please call: 650-498-9111

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