Games For Health - Brenda Wiederhold - Designing Apps to Empower Kids

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Speaker at Games for Health Europe Conference 2014

Text of Games For Health - Brenda Wiederhold - Designing Apps to Empower Kids


    Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCB, BCN

    Virtual Reality Medical Institute

  • VRMC Corporate Overview

    Incorporated in 2001 (S Corp) Professional Medical Corp

    Headquarters located in San Diego, CA

    Additional office located in Los Angeles

    Affiliated non-profit: Interactive Media Institute (IMI) (2001)

    Affiliated international non-profit (2006)

    Affiliated Belgian SME, VRMIBVBA legal structure (2006)

    Affiliated company China: Cybercare (2011)

    San Diego Los Angeles Brussels Qingdao

  • History of Development

    1996Began International Conference

    19971st Anxiety/VR controlled trial completed (flying)

    1998Began International Journal

    2001U.S. Non-profit and For Profit companies, clinics

    mid-2000sVR products disseminated, publications for general public/scientific community

    2006International Association formed in Belgium, Magazine Publication, 2nd

    Scientific Journal

    2006European SME incorporated in


    2007Ported VR to Mobile Platforms, Specialty Workshops, and Continuing Education classes

    20091st PTSD controlled trial completed (OIF/OEF)

    20101st European Union grant began (INTERSTRESS)

    2011Opened company in Qingdao, China

    2014Opened clinic as part of VRMI in Brussels

  • Experience

    Virtual Technologies and Environments

    Performance Metrics for Evaluating Training Transfer Effectiveness in a Virtual Environment Simulation

    Human Behavior and Performance Analysis

    Medical & Trauma Care Training

    Tactical Language & Culture Training

    Augmented Cognition

    Situational Awareness

    Shipboard Remediation and Training

    Advanced Distance and Distributed Learning

    Distributed Instruction Utilizing COTS

    Cognitive Task Analysis for Instructional Systems

    Scenario-based Instruction

    The VRMC team has experience in the following areas:

  • Qualifications

    Delivery of turnkey PTSD systems and APA-approved therapist training programs to over 20 locations in U.S./Europe

    Sole source contract for VISN 23 VA Hospitals

    ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 medical device level certified manufacturing and testing facilities

    Listed in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)

    Current DCAA approved accounting


    Successfully bid and won over 50 competitive government contracts

    Certified by the Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Protocol approved by the Navy Surgeon General

    Certified Veterans Administration Hospital vendor

    NATO approved contract vendor

  • Clinical Training & Education VRMCs 501c3 non-profit affiliate, the

    Interactive Media Institute (IMI), is certified by the American Psychological Association (APA) to provide Continuing Education (CE) credits for VR therapy

    Workshops and training courses for the past 19 years

    Training programs for interns, fellows, post docs, medical students, masters students in psychology, and students of biofeedback and physiological regulation

    NATO-sponsored 10-day training program for VR and biofeedback to

    treat and prevent PTSD

    NATO-sponsored symposium series on Invisible Wounds of War:





    Additional funding from Austrian & Croatian MOD and US Army MRMC

    19 nations in attendance

  • Human Identification at a Distance

    Cultural Influences on Virtual Reality Environment Response Behavior

    Student State

    VR for Pain Distraction during Dental Procedures

    VR for Burn Pain Distraction

    VR for Chronic Pain

    VR and physiological Monitoring for pain

    Cyber Therapy Conference

    ARO Adaptive Displays Conference at AMC SIGGRAPH 2004

    Combat Medic

    Injury Creation Science

    SIT for AeroMeds

    PTSD in Iraq

    PTSD Coalition Forces

    Mobile Medical Monitor CAP Program CDC VR Driving Simulator

    for Training and Evaluating Driver Behavior

    SIT PTSD Rehabilitation


    TBI Cognitive Rehabilitation

    ICS Severe Trauma Training

    Mixed Reality Rehabilitation System Science for Peace and Security

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization

    Partners and Programs

  • Virtual Reality Medical Institute

    VRMI integrates medical science with

    cutting edge simulation and training

    technologies to develop new products and

    training protocols for the treatment of

    medical, traumatic, and other stress-

    related injuries and disorders.

  • Common Childhood Phobias


    Separation anxiety


    Natural disasters


    Animals (ex. Dogs)

    Loud noises






  • Anxiety Disorder Prevalence

    Prevalence between 9% and 32% during childhood and adolescence



    Behavioral disorders

    Suicidal thoughts

    Negative impact on education

    Stress in family life

    Creswell C, et al. Arch Dis Child 2014;99:674678. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-303768

  • Anxiety

    Associated with:





    Can involve:

    Cardiovascular system

    Respiratory system

    Gastrointestinal system

    Nervous system

    Martin P., Dialogues Clin Neursoci. 2003 Sep;5(30):281-98.

  • DSM-5 Classifications

    Specific phobia

    Generalized anxiety disorder

    Social anxiety disorder

    Formally social phobia

    Panic disorder


    Creswell C, et al. Arch Dis Child 2014;99:674678. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-303768

  • Age of Onset

    Anxiety disorders (phobias and separation anxiety disorder) have median age of onset of 7-14 years old

    Inter-quartile range of 4-20 years old

    Kessler et al. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2007 July ; 20(4): 359364

  • Specific Phobias Subtypes (according to DSM-IV)


    Natural environment



    Frequently co-occur

    Lifetime prevalence of 12.5%

    About twice as common for women than men

    Most specific phobias begin in childhood

    Fond G, Franc N. Encephale. 2013 Apr;39(2):109-14.

  • Childhood Anxiety

    Increases risk of:


    Anxiety later in life

    Suicide attempts

    Psychiatric hospitalization

    Fond G, Franc N. Encephale. 2013 Apr;39(2):109-14.

  • Treating Childhood Anxiety




    Change in catastrophic cognitions

    Development of coping skills

    Increased self-efficacy

    Emotional processing

    Changes in expectancies

    Changes in perceptions of dangerousness

    Fond G, Franc N. Encephale. 2013 Apr;39(2):109-14.

    Processes that can treat childhood anxiety:


  • Fear Fighters App

    Downloadable app for iPhone and Android

    Suggested price: $2.99

    Additional modules: $.99 per scenario

    Available on iTunes Store and Google Play

  • Fear Fighters App

    Small screen virtual environments can be just as immersive as large screen virtual


  • Story Board

    Lily Mateo

  • Research has found no difference between using first-person or third-person avatars to feel present in virtual-reality environments

  • Merchandise

  • Points of Contact

    EuropeProfessor Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCB, BCN

    Virtual Reality Medical Institute30 Clos Chapelle aux Champs, 6th Floor

    1200 Brussels, Belgium+32 2 880

    USA and ChinaProfessor Dr. Mark D. Wiederhold, M.D., Ph.D., FACP

    Virtual Reality Medical Center9565 Waples Street, Suite 200

    San Diego, CA 92121+1 858 642 0267