FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VR Provides Revolutionary New Therapies for Mental Health

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2018 – The U.S. is not prepared to meet today's mental health patient population demands. There is a behavioral healthcare professional shortage of thousands reported by the Health Resources and Services Administration and clinicians are challenged to meet the 20% Americans who are suffering from mental illness every year according to the National Institute on Mental Illness of which more than half never receive treatment.

NewPathVR is working with the San Francisco Psychological Association to train mental health clinicians on the therapeutic use of virtual reality. "NewPathVR is excited to partner with the San Francisco Psychological Association to advance both our missions to promote and enrich the science and practice of psychology for the health and welfare of the greater public," said Lisa Padilla, CEO of NewPathVR. "As the first partner of choice for the SFPA in the delivery of VR Psychology training, we plan to leverage our expertise and our network to deliver continuing education courses and workshops.

The first courses are being held in San Francisco and will serve the region, with plans to expand nationwide by the end of the year. NewPathVR will offer psychological associations in the SF Bay Area and healthcare institutions VR Psychology courses that teach practical therapeutic applications of VR Psychology, including Advanced VR Psychology, and VR Art Therapy. NewPathVR’s goal is to continue developing protocols and training for the use of VR in clinical settings that align with the ethics and standards of governing bodies such as American Psychological Association.

“We are very pleased for the opportunity to deliver VR Psychology training to licensed clinicians and graduate students in the area of emotional and psychological growth. We’ve been actively pursuing these trainings since the very beginning, almost as soon as we recognized the potential of VR-assisted therapies. To be received with not only open arms but curious hearts and fascinated minds instills us with excitement that professional healers see what we see. It is of the utmost importance that people not suffer needlessly and, though no one tool can be the answer, of course, we believe VR-assisted therapies - when done with intention - can be an affordable and potent tool for both the releasing and reforming of neuropsychological patterns.” said Dr. Michelle Wang, Chief Psychology Officer of NewPathVR.

"I was dazzled by the [course] and awed at the potential of VR for treating psychological suffering. I discovered that some of the potential is already here." said Dr. Bruce F. Pither, past president of the San Francisco Psychological Association. Padilla added, "Joining forces with organizations like the San Francisco Psychological Association to make our training available to more people around the world is essential to our mission and we are excited at the possibilities this collaboration will provide."

There have been 3000 studies over the past 30 years showing positive behavioral changes achieved through the use of virtual reality. Interventions with immersive environments have been created for the relief of stress, anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer's Disease, and more.

About NewPathVR

NewPathVR is the creator of personal development and emotional intelligence applications in virtual reality. The company uses research-based methods from its proprietary Active PsychologyTM library to create wellness applications for VR with the goal of evoking positive change through conscious technology. We also teach accredited courses in VR Psychology and power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RenewVR.com.

Contact:

Ashild Fossum
Marketing and PR
NewPathVR
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1390 Market Street #2710
San Francisco, CA 94102

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winners won

2018 Hackathon Puts Focus On Health Wellness (This event has passed)

2-day Technology-Driven Behavioral Design Summit Hackathon

NewPathVR is produced a VR Wellness Hackathon the third week of February 2018 at Google in San Francisco. We convened a group of interested developers for the 2-day Hackathon, with a real-world mission of “creating life-changing products in the health and wellness arena”. Participants will have a chance to collaborate with diverse teams with projects reviewed by industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Nice turnout for the NewPathVR's VR Wellness Hackathon today, everyone was here bright and early. With a special guest visit from Joe Connolly from Sketchbox, we kicked off the morning with a wonderful talk from Sarah Hashkes and participants who came from far and wide: Finland, New York, and Maui! People from Berkeley and Stanford are here too! Some great ideas are brewing, Thank you to HTC's VR4Impact for offering a prize for participants! Thank you also to Google for hosting our event!

Winners announced: 1st Place = Where's the Exit by Shashkes Sarit and Neilda Pacquing for Most Impactful Idea and Most Likely to Lead to Sustainable Behavior. They won Priority Application Status for an HTC VR4Impact Grant!

sarah ticoSarah Ticho won Most Financially Viable Idea, Best Mind/Body Connection App, and Best Non-Coded Demo for her idea Hatsumi. Hatsumi in Japanese means "see for the first time" which is very fitting for her app idea for body mapping in which the user outlines their body and then uses colors and symbols to express feelings or trauma.

Rebecca Evans won Most Focused Idea for her idea, Homeless Helper. This idea is an AR app to show when and when excess, free food is available throughout the city.

Sheridan Tatsuno and Janet Maldanodo won Best Utilization of a Third Party Tool or Device for their app idea Body Metrics.

Most Complete Coded Demo went to Dian Soraya Rachmawati and Jerry Isdale for their app I Love You By Self.

charlie wonCharlie Zannorman took both Creative Mention and Most Innovative Idea with his Rift app Whisper Castle.

There was a slack channel developed for those who want to stay in touch and keep projects moving. For hackers only, vrwellnesshackathon.slack.com.

If you would like to collaborate with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and VirtualBytes, please contact us respectively.

Thank you again for participating. We plan to hold this event again in the next couple of months so if you'd like to be part of the planning, demoing etc, stay in touch.

NewPathVR’s Active PsychologyTM

The term ‘psychosocial health’ is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘a state of complete physical mental and social well-being’.

The importance of being mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually sound can be lost as we move through life. In a one-size-fits-all solution, one pill was supposed to solve everything! Now we are all learning to the contrary, and there's plenty of substantive proof that a healthy mind and a peaceful soul are just as important for the prevention of diseases and their treatment. Therefore, this concept of psychosocial health, a state of mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, deserves a better look.

NewPathVR is developing an “Active PsychologyTM” layer into all of the experiences. Our Active Psychology draws on key research that shows that VR can create environments that change your perspective of — and actions in — the real world. For decades, researchers have applied these tactics within virtual reality environments towards problems like depression, phobias (fear of public speaking, fear of heights), and social disorders, (depression, anxiety, and PTSD) and they’ve treated patients successfully.

NewPathVR has a library of these psychological and psychosocial mechanisms and is combining them with virtual environments to create effectively positive, personal growth experiences that people keep with them as a lasting impression in the real world.

Read our blog

 

VR and Emotional Development

NewPathVR is a transformative technology company that combines the unprecedented access that VR has to the subconscious with extensive psychological research to create powerful new tools for personal and emotional growth. We are concerned with the power of VR to change perceptions of and behaviors in the real world once you take the headset off and believe that integration is a key part of VR's benefit.

NewPathVR is the creator of personal development and emotional intelligence applications in virtual reality. The company uses research-based methods from its proprietary Active PsychologyTM library to create wellness applications for VR with the goal of evoking positive change through transformative technology. We also power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RenewVR.com.

Shedding fears to meet potential

The concepts of "letting go" and "meeting" are intimately connected. When we properly let go we can properly meet our new potential. Whether that's in a romantic relationship or transition in career or just about any new life challenge. When we learn to properly part with, for example, memories, only when we give it a proper closure does our mind allow for the proper formation of new memories to sprout.

Our immersive experiences are categorized in two forms: letting go and meeting. Letting go experiences can mean letting go of fears and all that is associated with fear: stress, anger, indecision, self-doubt. In other words, all the familiar cycles we find ourselves caught up in time and time again.

Meeting experiences are ones where we meet our new potential. The person we always wanted to be and others would be proud of. Meeting our new potential is essentially meeting a new us, by definition unfamiliar and exciting.

Both experiences are challenging in nature. They require more commitment and emotional investment in the user. They ask for our courage, no matter how small a seed.

NewPathVR creates research-driven experiences to help people effectively make changes in themselves that could help them overcome obstacles, live up to their potential, and have better lives.

Take a closer look at some of the projects we're pursuing today.

Read about our team.

Contact Us

 

building self esteem

Psychosocial health is a combination of psychological, emotional, and social factors. It determines and reflects the way people view themselves and others, and how they deal with problems and stressful situations. Here are just a few traits shared by psychosocially healthy individuals.

Meditation is a several-thousand year old practice for training the mind. Historically a practice reserved for quiet monks, disciplined kung-fu masters, yogis, and ochre-robed swamis, it’s now the preferred performance-enhancing practice of R&B moguls, Super Bowl Champions, Olympic athletes, and A-list celebrities.

Meditation has gone mainstream.

One reason for that is that meditation is generally considered one of the most effective ways to train and focus your attention. And now, science has shown us that the meditative state has extremely positive physiological and neurological effects. What's to come in VR is very exciting. Why? Because meditation goes well beyond stress relief, although in itself, stress relief is a fine goal. Meditation unlocks the subconscious and allows you to tap into all kinds of self-improvement and reprogramming of poor habits and thinking. Here are some research-based findings on meditation.

Embodying Self-Compassion within Virtual Reality and its Effects on Patients with Depression

"By having participants embody an adult and then a child virtual body in succession, our scenario effectively provided a self-to-self situation enabling participants to deliver compassionate sentiments and statements to themselves. Consistent with predictions, this condition resulted in a significantly greater increase in self-compassion..."

British Journal of Psychiatry Open Feb 2016, 2 (1) 74-80; DOI: 10.1192/bjpo.bp.115.002147. Caroline J. Falconer, Aitor Rovira, John A. King, Paul Gilbert, Angus Antley, et al

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brain tears

VR developers are getting good enough at fooling your brain in virtual reality that they also have to start worrying about your safety. Scientists and researchers really have no idea whether and how long-term exposure to VR changes the brain. This begs a discussion about responsibility as to what we create. There are decades worth of research into how motion simulators affect people, etc. and we have some insight into the psychology of the software interaction, and the physiology of the how the body and mind react.

What we're able to do with the technology that has come available in the last couple years is exciting, and so much more impact than other forms of media. We need to think long and hard about what long-term exposure looks like.

The way VR fools your brain into thinking that a virtual space is real is by knowing what pieces your brain uses to construct reality, and then giving your brain the same information, presented in virtual reality. The vestibular system in our ears tells our brain about our position in 3D space by helping us achieve balance. But there's a lot more to it than motion sickness, which Chris Dede from Harvard University, says affects roughly 3% of VR users.

With recent mapping data from the Human Connectome Project revealing 180 distinct regions of the brain, imagine what's possible when you consider that VR is being used for pain reduction, PTSD, and social anxieties like fear of speaking.

The key to achieving these goals is to first understand the senses that the human brain uses to intuit what is real, in the real world, and then give those senses the same types of data, but in the virtual world.

Creators need to take great care in how they prepare users for their experiences, something that so far I don't see enough of yet. Because your brain can be so thoroughly fooled into thinking the virtual world is the real world, those who experience VR may need to be warned about the content that awaits them. First impressions are important, something scary in VR could be offputting at least and in worse cases disturbing.

Adding enough sensory and directional data in virtual experiences is important not only in keeping the brain believing that the virtual world is real so that we can enact situations to enlighten and educate ourselves but also to avoid potentially negative or even traumatic experiences unintended in VR.

At a recent Cannes Lions Festival appearance, Google VR vice president Clay Bavor said: “When you look at your brain under an fMRI, remembering and experiencing look very similar.”

They also impact you similarly.

Please also read our white paper: "Using Virtual Reality for the Reduction of Anxiety: An Introduction to How Immersive VR Can Improve the Treatment of Anxiety"

Lisa PadillaLisa Padilla

Lisa Padilla is founder and CEO of NewPathVR, a VR company specializing in personal development and emotional intelligence applications in virtual reality. A long-time marketer and advertising professional, she has worked in a wide variety of industries and is strongly focused on multimedia, marketing, and product strategy. Lisa's early career started at advertising agencies Foote, Cone & Belding and Euro RSCG. She studied multimedia at Academy of Art, worked on Apple's first social network called eWorld. Lisa worked at AOL/Netscape, where she oversaw implementation of sponsorship and advertising programs, and also integrated content for news, business, and sports channels. She has worked directly with Apple, Intuit, Hewlett-Packard, LEVIs, and many startups over the years.

drmichelle

Dr. Michelle Wang

Dr. Michelle Wang, PsyD is an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) coach and international traumatologist. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been trained in state-of-the-art clinical settings including VA medical centers, centers for survivors of torture, and center for survivors of genocide. For the last decade, Michelle has specialized in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. With her extensive research and clinical background, Michelle has been an international trauma consultant for various disaster-relief organizations, assisting with the development of a somatic, body-centered treatment protocol aimed to mitigate the effects of PTSD in school-aged children. Michelle has advanced training in Attachment Theory, Somatic Psychotherapy, Jungian Psychology, Mindfulness and Meditation, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relational and Interpersonal frameworks, Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies, and Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy (TLDP). She is co-founder and Chief Psychology Officer at NewPathVR.

Eiran Shalev

Eiran Shalev

Eiran Shalev is an experienced technical, hands-on leader with 20 years of professional expertise overseeing top teams on mobile, social, and web technologies for products ranging from multi-player mobile & social games, to streaming video ads to interactive television and more. His recent work includes laying groundwork at Google's Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) team. Prior to that he shaped the technical vision for Disney Interactive's mobile technology platform, helping to scale and deliver it to all game studios. Before that, he spent time at Koolbit, Kabam, and RockYou! He has built more than 50 games. He joins NewPathVR as CTO.

Kristine Rogers

Kristine Rogers

Kristine Rogers joins NewPathVR as VP of Business Development with more than 10 years software, hardware, and consumer and enterprise expertise for both start-ups and global enterprises. She was crucial in the acquisition of Quickoffice by Google as VP of Business Development and OEM Sales for Google. Quickoffice was the #1 Business app in iTunes, #13 top-grossing overall in iTunes and embedded on 70% of all Android devices. She has also served substantial posts at OQO, Microsoft, Kainos, and Plumtree in strategic partner and customer acquisition roles. Kristine is also an avid quantified selfer and biodecoder.

team kristina

Kristina Suhr Olsen

Kristina Suhr Olsen is a masters student and researcher in the areas of psychology and virtual reality. Previously she has worked with adults and youth and their families struggling with alcohol, narcotic, and sexual addiction. She has also spent time as a psychological counselor improving health and mental conditions for those dealing with stress at companies in Denmark. She was a volunteer group leader for an association of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders, offering treatment and prevention and activities. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Copenhagen and is presently serving as VP of Research and Development with NewPathVR in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ashild Fossum

Åshild Birgitte Fossum

Åshild (pronounced "ah-sil") Birgitte Fossum is a masters student at The Norwegian School of Economics, one of the leading business schools in Europe. She specializes in business analysis and performance management and will graduate spring 2018. Åshild has experience with banking and financial services but has also worked with communication and strategy in various projects at NHH. With great interest in the interface between business and technology, she is now a participant at The Innovation School, a collaboration between NHH and University of California, Berkeley. Åshild provides marketing and PR help to the team.

DariaDaria Siganova

Daria Siganova is an MBA student at Hult International Business School, she specializes in Marketing and Social Media, and will graduate in 2018 with a dual degree in Marketing. Daria has 5 years experience in Financial Services sector in Banking and Insurance and had worked in strategy and business development, as well as two large transformation projects. She had her BSc in Management from London School of Economics and Political Science, one of the top universities in the UK, and had spent half of her life there. She is interested in all aspects of business, in particular questions involving strategic direction of the company. Daria is currently working on research into social and cultural aspects of the development of AI technology. She has a passion for drawing and digital art.

Advisors

Liza Lichtinger

Liza Lichtinger

Named a "Futurist", by Ross Dawson, Liza Lichtinger is among the world's most sought-after individuals in the correlation between well-being and the economy. Liza has a background in psychology and the study of human well-being and human behavior which she applies to the AI applications in big data, digital health and perception Tech (e.g. VR/AR). Her knowledge of behavioral economics led her to study the future interactions between humans and technology, focusing on the intersection of human behavior, exponential technology and human capital development, which is the field of Neuroeconomics. Liza’s educational and professional expertise have made her an authority in the field of human longevity, optimal mental wellness, and applications of mindfulness - and was a pioneer in introducing these to the corporate, academic, spa, recovery and healthcare environments. Liza is a thought leader, author, and speaker.

Fred Davis

Fred Davis

Fred Davis is an experienced entrepreneur, technology pioneer, and public speaker. He has played a part in the tech industry for over 30 years and has been hailed as a technology visionary for pioneering and predicting many innovations and industry trends. Fred played an instrumental role as part of the startup team in two multi-billion dollar startups, CNET and Ask Jeeves (now Ask.com). Fred was also one of the founding team members at Wired magazine, winner of numerous publishing awards. He's written 14 books about computers and technology, including the first book on Desktop Publishing, and the award-winning Windows Bible series. One of the founders of the Ziff-Davis computer publishing division, Fred served as editor of several of the world’s leading computer publications, including PC Magazine, PC Week, A , and MacUser, and ran all of the industry-leading product testing labs at those publications. Today, Fred is working with a number of startups, and is a mentor at several SF startup incubators. He is especially interested in virtual reality and has been a VR advocate for many years.

Michael Gosney

Michael Gosney

Michael Gosney is a multimedia publisher, media and event producer whose work over 30 years has addressed holistic health, spirituality, ecology, technology, and community. He was an early digital media pioneer, publishing Verbum, one of the first desktop published magazines, and the first true multimedia CD-ROM in 1991. His books, media projects and events all have a common thread of technology and consciousness. Based in San Francisco, California Michael is Managing Director of the Techné Verde ICT research project with the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Associate Publisher of Synergetic Press, and the co-founder of the Green Century Institute www.greencentury.institute on sustainable communities.

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