Will Doctors Soon Prescribe Videogames? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

In anxiety, thats true even to the minute. Anxiety is a very acute event. Even rapidly acting drugs are going to take tens of minutes before you feel relief. Deep breathing produces relief within seconds. Pear Process | Click to expand Pear is working with branded and generic drug makers as well as nutritional-supplement companies, and hopes to launch an FDA-approved product with a pharma partner in 2015. With effectively every new drug for the brain, the traditional path to market is 12 to 15 years and two to three billion dollars, says McCann. From concept to launch for us, its a couple of millions and 18 to 20 months. And theres a similar opportunity in terms of magnitude for helping patients. While all these companies are focusing primarily on mobile or PC platforms, new gaming interfaces–most notably, virtual reality (VR) headsets by Oculus Rift and Sony–could enable much deeper immersion in virtual environments, with profound therapeutic benefits. If youre dealing with something where the brain doesnt want to go–like PTSD, or an anxiety disorder such as fear of heights, flying, or crowds–a more three-dimensional experience that stimulates more sensory systems can have more cognitive benefits, says Walter Greenleaf, Pears chief science officer and former head of the Center on Aging at Stanford. VR is already being used clinically for pain management. A team led by Hunter Hoffman at University of Washington, for example, has developed an immersive game called Snow World , where the player is a snowman throwing snowballs in a virtual winter-scape.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.fastcompany.com/3032606/innovation-agents/play-two-and-call-me-in-the-morning-inside-the-emerging-science-of-videoga

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