EFFECTIVE 1 November 2015, please note our new contact information: Email office @ vrphobia.eu and Telephone +32 4 79 224 531
Virtual Reality Medical Institute (VRMI) is a Belgian corporation located in Woluwe Saint Lambert (Brussels region). Chosen as one of the first occupants of the Brussels Life Science Incubator (BLSI) for advanced technology and healthcare start-ups, VRMI was selected to participate in the June 2013 Belgian Economic Mission to California, led by Prince Philippe, now King Philippe, of Belgium.
VRMI established the first Belgium-based Virtual Reality (VR) and Biofeedback-enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Healthcare Clinic. The clinic serves the needs of the English-speaking expat community, as well as the Flemish and French-speaking communities in Belgium. VRMI uses traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy and behavioral therapy, but further individualizes and enhances this therapy by the addition of Virtual Reality (three-dimensional) computer simulations and biofeedback. This allows for interaction and immersion so that the therapy becomes experiential. In controlled studies throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia, this addition of VR and biofeedback allows therapy to proceed more quickly, and is found to be attribute to a higher percentage of treatment success. Conditions treated at VRMI include specific phobias (such as fear of flying, driving, heights, public speaking, claustrophobia and arachnophobia), panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social phobia; chronic pain, stress, Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD) and Burnout. General stress management skills are taught for stress-related disorders and psychophysiological disorders such as tension headache and migraine.
Virtual reality exposure therapy places the client in a computer-generated world where they "experience" the various stimuli related to their phobia. The client wears a head-mounted display with small TV monitors and stereo earphones to receive both visual and auditory cues. After an intake session and skill building sessions to teach the patient how to control automatic responses to anxiety-provoking situations, the therapist and client collaborate to create a hierarchy of anxiety-inducing situations. In careful, controlled stages, the client is exposed to these virtual experiences that elicit increasingly higher levels of anxiety. Each stage can be repeated until the client is comfortable with the experience and satisfied with their response. At every step, the therapist can see and hear what the client is experiencing in the virtual world. If the level of anxiety becomes overwhelming, the client can return to a less stressful level of treatment, or simply remove the head-mounted display andexit the virtual world.
Using a Combined Communications Platform of an annual international conference, specialized workshops, clinician training courses, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, a quarterly magazine, and a website information portal, VRMI is also active in informing and educating the general public, policymakers, funding agents, industry and academia. Having been involved in R&D projects in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. for the past 25 years, the principals of VRMI are now bringing their clinically-validated products and protocols to the private practice setting.
VRMI has established affiliates in both China and the U.S. and envisages the goals of the EU in developing the healthcare of the future. VRMI has expertise in simulation technologies in three main areas: 1) treating patients with stress, anxiety, trauma, and chronic pain; 2) training for military medical and civilian first responder populations, and 3) enhancing medical educational programs. Working closely with the Belgian Erasmus Program, VRMI also serves as a mentor to Young Entrepreneurs.
For more information please contact: office @ vrphobia.eu or call +32 4 79 224 531