He Uses VR Tech To Treat PTSD And Help Veterans Re-Enter Society

Liam Berry
He Uses VR Tech To Treat PTSD And Help Veterans Re-Enter Society
Sponsored by, Dell

If you hear a name like Dr. Skip Rizzo and think, “That sounds like a guy who uses cutting-edge gaming technology to treat major public health crises,” then you’d be right on the money.

Skip Rizzo And The Fight Against PTSD

That’s right, thanks to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) tech from Dell, researchers like Dr. Rizzo at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies are able to treat anxiety disorders like PTSD with an entirely new approach.

And that’s not all they’re doing with it.


Using simulations that both soothe the anxious mind and provide low-risk “immersion” scenarios to help patients process traumatic experiences, medical VR tech and its proponents see a near endless possibility for both engaging the interest of the patient and lowering the costs of top-of-the-line care.

The Painful (And Expensive) Alternatives

In the past, if patients required long hours of immersion and care, this would necessitate the involvement of multiple people, expensive equipment, and a ton of office space. For most people and medical practices, this wasn’t feasible. Treatment would cost too much and doctors, therapists, and nurses would only be able to help a few of their many patients.

Now, thanks to this kind of groundbreaking work, this gold standard of care might be available for people of all incomes and backgrounds.

Dell’s Application of VR and AR

Though you might not have known (until now), Dell has been one of the companies pushing the boundaries of VR tech. As Dell’s resident VR/AR expert Gary Radburn explained, the company has always had faith in VR’s limitless potential: “New ways of using AR and VR have emerged to prove that there is a place for this technology outside of 360 videos and shooting zombies that makes it a far more enduring technology than some of the naysayers at the start made it out to be.”


This new treatment is the perfect example. One of the key components of any PTSD treatment is getting patients to remember their prior traumatic event without having to relive it. Immersion therapy is the gold standard for accomplishing this. This used to involve verbally and visually them through the traumatic scenario to get them accustomed to remembering it without having to re-experience the horror. This is often a very expensive process, because completing it involves hours of direct contact with doctors, techs, and equipment.

Yet instead of relying on projected images or videos to talk patients through scenarios, professionals leveraging VR/AR tech can more accurately—and effectively—run through these past traumas. Through this interactive method, patients—especially veterans, for whom scenarios can be particularly hard to reproduce—can come face-to-face with their memories in a safe environment. That empowers them to finally start the healing process.

Thanks to Dell’s line of specifically VR-ready equipment, this treatment is not only more effective but also cheaper and more efficient than its clunky counterpart. Dr. Rizzo and Dell are ready for the future of VR. Are you?

If you’re up for the challenge, Dell is hiring on WayUp, so check out their open positions and apply!