Cases

Khora: Fighting auditory hallucinations by using Virtual Reality

CHALLENGE is an innovative Virtual Reality (VR) based software system combining technology within the field of mental health. CHALLENGE is an innovative psychological tool aimed at treating patients suffering from auditory hallucinations using immersive virtual reality.

Fighting auditory hallucinations by using Virtual Reality

The goal and mission of CHALLENGE is to support and treat schizophrenia patients suffering with continuous malevolent auditory hallucinations through a new immersive VR avatar therapy. The patient learns to become more empowered to stand up to and manage the malevolent voice which will help improve their mental health and wellbeing significantly. If a person with schizophrenia gets the right treatment and the support they need, they can manage their symptoms and go on to have a better quality of life.

The unique innovative aspect of the CHALLENGE software is that we have made it possible for patients to create an avatar and have a dialogue with that digital representation (avatar) of their presumed persecutor, which is voiced by the therapist within a virtual immersive environment.

The unique CHALLENGE VR simulation program combines 3 components:

  • A face creation module where the therapist can create a visual representation of the patient’s malevolent voice, where gender, age, and facial characteristics are all customizable.
  • A voice modulation module where a recording of the therapist’ voice can be modulated – by changing age, gender, pitch, and other traits – to resemble the patient’s persecutory voice.
  • The Real Time VR simulation where the patient can engage in a dialogue with the visual representation of the malevolent voice in VR and practice confronting it whilst the therapist is acting as the voice via the real time voice modulation feature

The patient learns to become more empowered to stand up to and manage the malevolent voice which will help improve their mental health and wellbeing significantly.

In this short video, meet CTO and co-founder of Khora, Peter Fisher, who explains Khora's approach to creative processes and cross-sector projects utilizing AR and VR.

CHALLENGE lets patients with schizophrenia confront their malevolent voices in VR and develop new skills and strategies to cope with the voices and make their lives easier. We also know that caring for family members with schizophrenia exposes caregivers to mostly negative experiences, which in turn negatively impacts the caregivers themselves and their quality of life. Thus, this VR intervention will not only help patients it will also help build greater knowledge and experience for the carer and family members of people suffering from schizophrenia. They will gain greater insights into the reality of how patients experience their voices as a key aspect of the CHALLENGE program is that patients can also share the avatar with their family and friends. The VR intervention is also expected to greatly improve the cost effectiveness and efficacy of the current treatment of auditory hallucinations.

If a person with schizophrenia gets the right treatment and the support they need, they can manage their symptoms and live a healthy life. We believe CHALLENGE can be a strong driver in achieving this goal.

CHALLENGE offers the digitalization of new psychological methods which will inspire and rejuvenate the field of mental health. The CHALLENGE project will allow long awaited partnerships between the field of mental health and technology. The significance of such innovation is the beginning of a new era within mental health, and we believe this will help start a revolution of use of innovative methods in the field. In addition, CHALLENGE aims to improve the quality of life of a group of patients who suffer every day, and we propose that this tool can be a driver in improving their overall mental health wellbeing.

About Khora

Khora is an award-winning Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) production studio based in Copenhagen, creating cutting edge content within multiple application areas. We are 20 full time employees, and over the last five years we have produced more than 300 VR/AR applications and hosted more than 1,000 workshops and events.

We are exploring the value potential of VR and AR through meaningful collaborations and partnerships. We work within multiple industries, with a deep understanding of the technologies and of how and why businesses and institutions should work within these emerging mediums

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