VR To Help Battle Smoking Addiction

Using virtual reality (VR) to improve health outcomes has become an increasingly popular option for various purposes. From distracting patients away from their pain, or educating both patients and doctors about medical procedures, or letting mental health patients confront their demons, the use of VR in medicine is growing. It can even be used as part of addiction treatment, as VR program MindCotine demonstrates.

Smoking addiction is a world-wide problem, according to the World Health Organisation, smoking causes approximately 6 million deaths a year and is responsible for over $1 trillion (USD) in healthcare costs worldwide. While there are many smokers who are looking to quit, many are searching for something beyond current addiction treatment plans that is both non-invasive and inexpensive.

MindCotine are looking to combat the problem of addiction in a way that meets the needs of smokers who are trying to quit by using VR to guide users through a mindfulness process, using biofeedback as a monitoring system to help train users in how to train their body. The process involves teaching users what their smoking habit does to them and identify their habits and behaviour before trying to show users how to change those behaviours.

The creators behind MindContine are seeking funding for the VR treatment program using crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. $18,000 is sought by the project. All reward tiers from $12 upward will receive the Mindcotine kit if the campaign is successful. The kit consists of a cardboard VR headset, a full treatment plan, wristbands, access to the MindCotine app, and access to the MindCotine community, which includes a personal mentor to guide users through the process.

The top funding tier is for $10,000, which will get the backer 20 MindCotine kits, four t-shirts, a visit to the MindCotine HQ and a week with the MindCotine team. The Kickstarter campaign ends on the 30th June, 2017. The organisers of the campaign expect they should be able to begin shipping MindCotine kits in March 2018 if the campaign is a success.

VRFocus will continue to report on VR-related Kickstarter projects.