Virtual Reality

A Grand Rapids therapist is using virtual reality technology to help his patients confront traumatic environments.
Flickr user UTKnightCenter / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

Virtual reality doesn’t immediately pop into mind when you think about psychotherapy, but one therapist is using this burgeoning technology to treat his patients.

Tom Overly is using multi-sensory virtual reality technology to help patients confront their fears and anxieties. He’s the owner of VR Therapy and Counseling Center in Grand Rapids.

Courtesy: Kettering University

Kettering University in Flint is developing technology that may soon change how doctors learn surgical procedures.

Mehrdad Zadeh is Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering  at Kettering.  He says it’s a process using "haptic feedback."

Patrick Hayes is with Kettering University and explains:

Haptics technology allows a user to ‘touch’ virtual objects by using forces, vibrations or movements of the user in simulations. It has a wide variety of practical uses in various industries, but students in the Research in Engineering and Collaborative Haptics (REACH) Lab have found the technology particularly useful in coming up with practical applications of haptics in the local medical community.

Professor Zadeh says the technology is actually similar to some video games and simulates the feel of working with real flesh.