“The Application of New Technologies for Psychiatry in a Clinical Setting: The Tokyo Cyber Clinic”
At the Tokyo Cyber Clinic we have embraced the use of innovative technologies for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Three areas that we are promoting as future treatments will be discussed.
We are currently performing virtual reality based exposure therapy for simple phobias, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. A big advantage of virtual reality based exposure is that the clinician has complete control of the environment. The patient can quickly be immersed into the feared situation. Because the treatment is done in the clinic, we can measure the physiological responses of pulse, GSR, skin temperature, and respiration to have instant feedback on the effectiveness of the exposure.
In the near future we will begin validating the effectiveness of internet based counseling programs for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, depression, and body image disorder. With the adaptation of technology, we hope to reach a broader patient base that might not attend individual or group counseling for financial or time scheduling reasons.
Future work includes the adaptation of remote monitoring of physiological signals along with the ability for patients to instantly give subjective feedback about their condition via a portable phone. An example application for this technology would be to predict the start of a panic attack, and alert the patient, so that they could take steps to avoid or reduce the intensity or duration of the attack.