#346: Using VR to Treat Lazy Eye with ‘Vivid Vision’

James-BlahaIt’s not every day that someone gains an entirely new sense, but James Blaha did just that. He created a virtual reality vision therapy experience that essentially cured his lazy eye and enabled him to see in 3D for the first time in his life. When I first interviewed James in May 2014, he was hesitant to make any claims that this was an effective treatment beyond his own personal experience, but nearly two years later James’ Vivid Vision system has shown success in other people with amblyopia and strabismus and is now located in over 20 optometrist clinics around the country.

I had a chance to catch up with James at GDC to get an update on the current state of VR vision therapy, how to determine whether this VR treatment might be a good fit if you have lazy eye, and where he sees Vivid Vision going in the future.


At the moment, it’s only possible to get access to the Vivid Vision system at a limited number of optometrist’s offices around the country, but they’re working towards a consumer version that would allow you to do the VR treatment sessions within the comfort of your own home while still having some oversight from an optometrist. Once they’re able to launch this, then it could mark the beginning of a telemedicine revolution where remote doctors could track patient’s treatment progress based upon the data collected within a VR experience.

In talking with Michael Aratow of VR rehabilitation startup VRecover, he made the claim that VR will enable more personalization of medical treatments. Rather than give generic exercises for people to do own their own without much feedback, VR therapy and VR telemedicine could provide more detailed quantitative data that would enable faster feedback loop iterations and adaptable treatments that could be more specific for each patient.

My original interview with James and his story of curing his lazy eye with VR made such an impression on me that I included it within my top 10 list of Voices of VR interviews I’ve done so far. James says that VR allows us to completely control the visual input to our perceptional system, and this is enabling us to completely rewire our brains. For people with lazy eye, this has allowed them to use VR to train certain muscles in their eyes that have otherwise been dormant and unused.

For me, this demonstrates a larger principle that VR has the power to unlock latent human potentials. At this point, VR is able to strengthen capabilities that have already been proven through neuroplasticity research. But could VR also unlock capabilities that have yet to be discovered? This idea has been explored within the context of sci-fi stories like Lawnmower Man, where the protagonist uses VR to unlock psychic abilities like telekinesis. It’s also been explored by Dean Radin in his book “Supernormal”, which investigates scientific evidence of extraordinary mental powers that may be unlocked from doing 2,000 year-old meditation practices contained within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

In James Blaha’s case, he used VR to train his eye to be able to see again. There were actually existing vision therapy exercises that he could have done, but they were excruciatingly tedious so he would never do them. VR has the possibility to make these types of mundane and tedious exercises fun to do, and therefore much more likely to be done, and in the end a lot more powerful and effective.

These types of VR experiences could start to cultivate a level of discipline in a range of different VR training, medical therapy, or contemplative practice applications that train our brains in new ways. Neuroscientist Aldis Sipolins warns that most existing cognitive brain training exercises have yet to be demonstrated to have transferrable benefits into our everyday lives. But with the success of James’ Vivid Vision system, then perhaps we’re just starting to see a new wave of VR applications that unlock our existing capabilities and perhaps at some point in the future start to extend our capabilities.

Become a Patron! Support The Voices of VR Podcast Patreon

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Subscribe to the Voices of VR podcast.

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.412] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. My name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR podcast. So I started the Voices of VR podcast back in May of 2014, when I first went to the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference. And I ended up doing about 46 interviews in a day and a half. And one of those interviews has really stuck with me, so much so that I've actually put it on my top 10 interviews after doing now over 400 interviews. It's still one of the ones that made one of the biggest impressions on me. That's when I interviewed James Blaha for the first time. And James is someone who grew up with a lazy eye and wasn't able to fully see in 3D. And so he decided after reading a lot of neuroscience research that he was going to create a VR game to be able to train his weak eye to see in 3D. And not only did he use virtual reality to be able to basically rewire his brain to be able to see in 3D for the first time, But after doing it for like 20 hours over the course of three weeks, he was able to see in 3D in real life, which to me, I had never even considered that that was a possibility. And the implications of that for me was just amazing that we could unlock latent human potentials within ourselves just by controlling the input of our perceptual system. And so it's been a story that's been really inspiring to me. And so I was super excited to be at GDC this year and to run into James again. And it was at the basement of the VR mixer. And I just grabbed him and went around the corner to find a quiet spot in the hallway. And I just wanted to get an update from him on all the things that have happened over the last two years, where when I first talked to James, he was very hesitant to be able to say any type of claim like, VR cured my lazy eye. But after doing some studies, he's been able to see that, yes, this is actually something that's been replicated now, and they're starting to deploy their system out to different optometrists and have future plans to potentially have a little bit more of a consumer-friendly release that is still connected to having some oversight by an optometrist. So that's what we'll be covering today in the podcast. And if you would like to support this podcast, then consider becoming a patron at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. And with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:02:34.544] James Blaha: My name is James Blaha. I'm the CEO of Vivid Vision. We're making a lazy eye treatment using virtual reality.

[00:02:41.349] Kent Bye: So yeah, maybe you could tell me, you know, the story of what was the impetus to be able to create a virtual reality experience to be able to treat lazy eye.

[00:02:49.632] James Blaha: Sure. So I was born with a lazy eye. I did all the typical treatments as a kid. So what that means is vision therapy exercises like laying on your back and someone has a ball on a string and they trace out figure eights and circles and lines in different directions and you cover up your good eye and you follow it around. The other thing they do is they give you a patch for your good eye to force you to use your weak eye. Like most other kids, I totally hated it. It's basically blinding yourself because you can't use your weak eye for anything. You can't watch TV. You can't read with it. You can't do anything that requires vision with it, really. When you're a kid, you don't understand what's going on or why they're making you put this thing over your eyes so you can't see or any of that stuff. So you typically don't cooperate. I took it off whenever an adult left the room and peeked out the side to watch TV when my parents thought I was using it. And I was just pretty good at hiding the fact that I wasn't actually doing it. So the treatment didn't work for me. And then when the Rift came out, the DK1, I had already been reading about a lot of the new research in neuroplasticity, so it used to be thought before the last six or seven years that after the age of eight or nine, it's called the critical age, you couldn't treat lazy eye. But it turns out that you can. So I figured I'd get one of these crazy VR headsets and try to measure and treat my own lazy eye. And it ended up working a lot better than I expected, a lot more quickly than I expected. So the first experiment that I did in Unity was basically this big cube sitting out in front of me in VR. And on the keyboard, I could make it brighter to my weak eye and dimmer to my strong eye. And at a certain threshold, my weak eye just sort of turned on, and I saw in 3D for the first time I could remember. So that's what kind of inspired me to drop everything else I was doing and start this company and try to get that experience out to other people.

[00:04:30.780] Kent Bye: Great. So I think the last time I talked to you was at SAVRCon in 2014. So what has changed since then? A lot has changed.

[00:04:38.887] James Blaha: So we actually released the first version of our system to optometry clinics. At the end of this month, we'll be in about 30 clinics in the US. So that's kind of our biggest update is that now you can actually go use this new treatment at optometry clinics.

[00:04:53.535] Kent Bye: Yeah, and I think the first time I talked to you back in May of 2014, you said that not only could you see in VR for the first time while in VR, maybe talk a bit about what happened after that and the results that you got.

[00:05:05.960] James Blaha: Sure. So at first, I only saw in 3D while I was doing these modifications in VR. So basically increasing the signal to my weak eye, decreasing the signal to my strong eye, but still having it so both my eyes are open and fused on the same image all the time. And at first, just inside VR, I'd have these moments of 3D that were really new and intense. And over the next few weeks, while I was working on the first game, after about two or three weeks, I saw the keys on my keyboard pop out in 3D. And I had a 3D effect at about two or three feet out. And then following the next month or so, that range just expanded outward from there. And so the range at which I saw in 3D just expanded out until it was kind of far away, where no one sees in 3D. There's no disparity between the eyes at a far enough distance. just kind of spread outward until I couldn't tell anymore.

[00:05:53.938] Kent Bye: Talk a bit about that moment when you realized that you were starting to be able to see in 3D after creating this game in VR to be able to train yourself to see in 3D.

[00:06:04.382] James Blaha: Normally, you don't suddenly gain a new sense. So it was extremely surprising. And I had this big cube. It was 1 by 1 by 1 in Unity, so about 1 meter by 1 meter. So it was pretty big. And it was rotating. So when the point came out at me, I backed up in my seat. And this is before positional, so I couldn't back away from it, which made it even stronger. And I had never had that visceral experience of having something up in my face like that. You know, I've had stuff in my face, but it wasn't like that, where it was really there, upright there, versus me knowing about it more abstractly, I guess.

[00:06:41.587] Kent Bye: Yeah, I think that what I recall is that you played around, like, 20 hours over two or three weeks, and, you know, that was kind of the threshold where you started to have these other effects of being able to see in 3D and real life for the first time. What was your experience, and what have you found after sharing it to other people what their experiences have been?

[00:06:57.397] James Blaha: Sure. Now we've had over 1,000 people use the system. And we've had lots of stories similar to mine come out. And of course, everyone's situation's unique, especially when it comes to lazy eye. It's really a collection of different issues with the eyes with different causes and different symptoms. But we had one person, just to give you kind of an example of the kind of stories we're hearing, who couldn't pass the driving test for 15 years. They tried 11 times. They used our stuff for a couple of months. They were able to pass the test for the first time. It's that kind of change that we're really trying to spread out to a group of people who were told when they were young that there would be no hope of improvement.

[00:07:34.601] Kent Bye: So how is the news being spread through these communities of people that have lazy eye? What has been the reaction and how is the buzz being generated with this?

[00:07:42.575] James Blaha: You know, it's interesting, there aren't really large patient organizations for people with lazy eye. It's not something people tend to talk about. In general, it's something people are kind of, you know, people are worried, everyone knows all the time. And people are very self-conscious about how their eye looks. And so people tend not to talk about it. And so when I encounter people who have lazy eye who hear about this, they're really excited because one, they haven't had anyone to share their experiences with usually. And so when they meet someone else who's publicly kind of talking about this stuff, it's an opportunity to talk about the shared experiences. And two, people are just really excited to know that there's this possible treatment for them when they thought their whole lives there was nothing that could be done. So for us, the big issue is kind of letting people know about the new research that's come out showing that there is something that can be done. If people know that, you know, I think they'll easily find us. And from there, it's easier for them to get access. I think the biggest thing is just not knowing something like this is possible.

[00:08:40.466] Kent Bye: And so I think the last time I talked to you, you were very cautious in terms of not saying that this was something that has been medically proven or shown to have an effect at a large scale. So what kind of evidence and studies have been done and what can you say now about the efficacy of this type of lazy eye treatment using VR?

[00:08:59.058] James Blaha: Sure, so we had an initial study done in Europe. It was with 19 people, and it was a pilot study, so it's not the final say or anything like that. But what they showed is they took 19 adults, they had them use it for about 2 or 3 weeks, 8 sessions over 2 or 3 weeks. The sessions were 40 minutes long each. In these people, they show that they improved between one and three lines on the acuity chart. So what that means is when you go into an eye clinic and you take the eye test where you're reading the letters and the letters get smaller and smaller and smaller, so each line is smaller. So in those two or three weeks, they improved between one and three lines. One line is considered to be a pretty statistically significant improvement, and three lines is a pretty major improvement. So to give you an idea, I started at 2070 in my week eye. After the first six weeks, I was about 2040, 2035. That's about a two line improvement, a little bit more than two line improvement. Now I'm about a little better than 2025 in my week eye. And so that's about a five line improvement.

[00:10:01.179] Kent Bye: Wow. So since it's an eight session treatment and you're going through a clinic, then obviously because you're a developer, you're able to continue and use it over and over again. Is this something that people could continue to do and continue to have improvements in their vision?

[00:10:15.218] James Blaha: So we're not entirely sure. So we're actually doing a study at UCSF where we're following up on people for six months after they stop using it. And we're going to try to answer that question about what happens when, you know, I keep seeing it all the time because I've been working on it. So, you know, I'm like not a data point for that question. But we should have some of those results this year to be able to answer the question of, you know, once you're using the eye, does it kind of keep up for itself and you don't need to continue using it? Or do you need to do a little bit of upkeep to keep it active? My hunch is that once you're using it in day to day life, it'll probably just keep on being used. The issue is getting over that hump to the point where you're actually using the eye. And then once you depend on it, it should stick that way if you have better vision as a result.

[00:11:03.428] Kent Bye: When you first released this experience, it was called Diplopia. Now you're called Vivid Vision, and I'm curious about going from where you were at in SVV Archon to be able to raise money and funding and be able to put this out into the market, specifically working with doctors and clinics rather than consumer release.

[00:11:21.193] James Blaha: So it was kind of a big change. My original plan was to kind of treat it more like a video game and sell it like a video game to anyone who wanted to buy it. But that was kind of before I met a lot of working optometrists and before I realized kind of the complexity. of this group of issues. You know, especially after talking to people who have used it, I think most people want to know that an optometrist is paying attention to what's going on, that the treatment is good for them, and that it's set up properly for them. And so for us, that's kind of our priority, is making sure that the system is right for that person and they should be using it under the guidance of an optometrist. So that being said, we're still planning a home version where the optometrist will monitor things remotely. So we're planning on releasing that later this year.

[00:12:09.540] Kent Bye: And so what are the type of characteristics where you know that this would be a good experience for someone versus that it may not be a good fit?

[00:12:16.759] James Blaha: So if people, I guess if we're ready for some of the more technical terms, people who have amblyopia, so that means the eye itself is healthy, but the brain is not using it up to its full potential essentially. It's impaired even though you've corrected it with glasses and it should be working. People who have amblyopia are kind of our highest success group so far. I also have strabismus, so strabismus is crossed eye. People with very large angle strabismus or very severe strabismus, it has less of a chance of working and it's a lot more complex what's going on with their vision. We're still working on research to try to make it more effective for people with strabismus, but smaller angle strabismus and amblyopia are kind of the highest chance of success for people, at least according to the research we've done so far.

[00:13:04.425] Kent Bye: And what was diplopia? What did that mean?

[00:13:06.528] James Blaha: So diplopia means double vision. It's a symptom of strabismus and amblyopia. So a lot of people who have these also have double vision. For me, it was intermittent. So if I was tired or if I had been drinking, my double vision would crop up. Now that happens a lot less. It still happens sometimes. But I can kind of control it more, kind of like force it to come into line. And the reason we actually called it that in the beginning was because we were sort of using this weird form of double vision by changing the images coming into each eye. So we were thinking it was kind of a You know, we're trying to stop double vision from happening by using this weird form of double vision, so we thought it was kind of a clever name, but it was hard to spell and hard for people to remember, so we ended up changing it for something that's kind of easier for people to remember and find the domain and stuff.

[00:13:55.816] Kent Bye: So yeah, maybe you could talk a bit about the actual game mechanics that you have, and if it even is still a game, and what kind of things that people see when they're actually experiencing this.

[00:14:04.621] James Blaha: Sure. So I think when we last spoke, we probably had one or maybe two games at that point. Now we have five games and a couple more under development. And so each game is targeted at different aspects of their vision, either at measuring different aspects of their vision or treating different parts of it. And this is part of, you know, the first games were sort of designed for me. So these new games were designed by, you know, going out and, you know, we brought an optometrist onto our team. You know, once we got our system in clinics, we kind of saw this wider variety of people. And so we've been releasing games to kind of target different kinds of lazy eye in different people. And so the kind of games that they are is, one is a brick-breaking game where you can use your hands to bounce a ball off of bricks and collect power-ups, kind of like 3D Breakout. One of them is a space game where you're flying a ship around and you're navigating through rings, and some of the rings are good and some of them are bad, and the symbols which tell you if they're good or bad only show up in your weak eye. So you have to use your weak eye to read the symbols. And the better you do in the game will make it harder and harder to identify the symbols with the weak eye. And we can measure different aspects of their vision by the threshold at which they're still able to tell the difference between the good and the bad symbols. One of our games is a basketball game where you catch basketballs. A hoop is attached to your head. We flash different symbols you have to read with your weak eye. Catching a ball inside a hoop, so like putting the hoop where the ball is going to be, is a task people do better with 3D, with depth perception, than if they don't have it. So it's a task that kind of highly incentivizes the use of depth. And then the other game we have, it's almost not a game at all. It's one we built for people who believe they don't like video games, which is kind of a large group of people. I think everyone likes some games, but there's a lot of people who believe that they don't like video games and video games aren't for them. So we say to them, all right, this isn't even a game, just put this on and it's a bubble popping experience where one bubbles closer than the other. And we've removed all of the depth cues except for the disparity between the two eyes. So the only way to tell which one's closer and which one's farther is if you're using both your eyes. So we can measure the amount of depth perception someone has by playing this game. So they just use their hands to pop the bubble. And we've had people, you know, especially because we're going to optometry conferences showing this stuff off. So, you know, like a 50 or 60-year-old person who says, you know, my grandkids play games, but that's not for me. And then we'll put this on their head, they're popping bubbles, sometimes you can't take it off them.

[00:16:35.627] Kent Bye: What have been some of your favorite stories in terms of people using this and being able to have their lives changed by being able to see in 3D again?

[00:16:43.597] James Blaha: We're kind of one spot removed from it, so we get emails coming in from people who have used it. But we don't have as much anymore, kind of that direct contact with people who have used it. But another story that just happened a couple weeks ago, we set up a clinic in Florida with the system. They had a patient come in who previously wasn't responding to treatment. And after using our software for a couple of weeks, they had this moment where it clicked into 3D for them. and they were in a grocery store and they were saying how the aisles in the store were like caves and they like almost couldn't contain it because it happened all of a sudden and how everything was kind of new for them even just hair you know like hair without depth or snow without depth or forest without depth it loses a critical element And for me, especially the forest, so the first time I saw a forest in 3D was one of the biggest things that I had noticed had changed. Because without 3D, it looks like you had taken a picture and stuck it on a texture, and you have walls. And when you do have 3D, the forest feels way more open. You know, it's something you see into, rather than something that surrounds you. So I think that's kind of the best explanation of the kind of difference that it is.

[00:17:54.947] Kent Bye: So now that you can see in 3D, I imagine that you can also enjoy a lot of other VR experiences that you may have not really fully appreciated. So maybe talk a bit about some of the VR experiences that you've really enjoyed.

[00:18:06.677] James Blaha: Sure. I think Tilt Brush is a good example, right? When people first get into Tilt Brush, they stand still and they draw a flat thing in front of them. And then the first step they take, they realize they can walk around it and it totally changes what the experience is. I think Tilt Brush with 3D is a great example of something that's kind of much more rich when you have the depth. Because what might look like a tangle, if you took a picture of it, looks like a shape if you have 3D. I don't know, I think any of these miniature games, especially like the small kind of board game like stuff where you have these little characters and little buildings and it's all close up where the disparity is really high, that stuff looks a lot cooler. The thing we like about that is directly related to the high disparity of the 3D effect versus blowing it up and seeing it as the exact same angular size but farther away. It seems like people really respond to that miniature world kind of close up to you. And I think that's mostly due to that 3D effect. So I think I wouldn't have enjoyed that stuff as much without stereo.

[00:19:08.908] Kent Bye: Yeah, Paul Bettner from Playful Corporation calls that kind of the sweet spot of VR, and Mark Bolas would refer to it as like the near-field VR. So things that are like within an arm's length distance do have that high level of stereoscopic effects, and it sounds like you're able to appreciate that in these experiences, but also I imagine that you're using those near-field experiences within your games within Vivid Vision in order to help train people to see in 3D.

[00:19:32.898] James Blaha: Yeah, actually one of the games we're about to release is a game where you get a recipe of some vegetables to fill an order. And there's a bunch of plants in front of you that are growing the different vegetables. So you might get one that's red pepper, green pepper, tomato. And you have to go and find these little plants. And we're modifying different things between the eyes and doing a bunch of stuff. But the main idea behind that was that this is one of those tasks that we evolved depth perception for. that if you have this crowded area of leaves with stuff hidden behind it, from the perspective of one eye you might be able to see the small pepper or whatever it is, the berry, and from the other eye it'll be blocked by a leaf. And so these kinds of tasks are why binocular vision was so useful to us evolutionarily. And so we're kind of looking to that for inspiration as a backdrop for the training. We might as well pick these things that really require depth perception in order to do them well.

[00:20:29.497] Kent Bye: What kind of reactions have you been getting from optometrists from either these conferences or people who are actually using it in the field now?

[00:20:36.524] James Blaha: The response from optometrists has been great. You know, when we meet them, a lot of them will say, we've been waiting for someone to do something like this. So, like, they didn't know about VR before they talked to us, but they knew optometry hadn't been caught up to the level of technology we were at. And so I think in general, they're really happy that someone is taking both a scientific approach, but also taking advantage of all the newest technology in order to create treatments that patients actually want to do. A lot of the issue is that, you know, they had stuff that worked okay, but it's just excruciatingly boring. And especially in kids, it worked pretty well, but kids aren't cooperating. And so for kids, the fact that this is enjoyable makes it a better treatment. And for adults, the fact that we have all this more power makes it work as a treatment where before treatments didn't work.

[00:21:28.250] Kent Bye: And so what is a sort of like the ballpark range of price or cost that would take for somebody to do an eight week course of a treatment?

[00:21:35.817] James Blaha: So that's really different depending on the optometrist. So the optometrist gets it from us and then they typically charge, you know, whatever they charge for visits, which is anywhere from 60 to 150 per visit generally. I think one of the motivations behind this home version is that it will allow a lot more people to get treatment because it'll be a lot cheaper than going to the optometrist, but still have an optometrist involved in the process. And the other thing is, you know, kind of the ideal thing to do is to use it 20 minutes a day, every day. Most people don't have the time to go that frequently or the money to go that frequently to an optometrist. So we think that this is kind of the happy middle ground where optometrists have access to patients, where patients have, you know, the guidance and oversight of a doctor. And so it's kind of the best for both worlds, I think.

[00:22:29.295] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you see as kind of the ultimate potential of virtual reality and what it might be able to enable?

[00:22:36.550] James Blaha: I really look at VR and this whole new set of sensors as a way to control the input going into the brain and the sensors as a way to measure the response that the brain has. I think we just keep adding sensors and we keep making the input closer and closer to the maximum. We can kind of foresee a future where the resolution is going to be past human level. And we've already done some things where we can test past human level on these optics. And once the whole field of view is that resolution, it's just going to be indistinguishable from reality. I mean, I guess once it's a light field also. But all this stuff is on the roadmap. I think we're going to be there in, you know, five to ten years where at least the vision part of it is nearly indistinguishable from reality. So you combine almost perfect input to the brain visually and auditorily with head tracking and eye tracking and body tracking and skin capacitance and heart rate, maybe EEG if it gets a little better. And we have complete control over what we show them and then we can measure the response coming back out. I think we're going to learn more about the brain through this new set of technology in the next 10 years than we have in the last 100 maybe. I think it's really an opportunity for all of us to investigate how all this stuff works and then, you know, where we can change the brain for the better and put it under the control of the person so they can kind of change their brain for the better.

[00:24:07.120] Kent Bye: Yeah, I gotta say that talking to you back at SVVRCon back in 2014 really impacted me in terms of thinking about this question of the ultimate potential of VR that I've asked over 300 people now. And to me, what you've shown with your work with Vivid Vision is that our brains are plastic. There's these concepts of neuroplasticity from neuroscience that show that we can control the inputs to our brain and that it has the capacity to literally rewire our brains to be able to do things that we couldn't do before. And so for you to be able to take an eye that was functionally not working and then be able to train it through VR, but then have it to the point where, when you're in real life, to actually be able to use it, you know, that's a principle of, like, tapping into a latent human potential that you had. And I just wonder whether or not there's other latent potentials that we don't even know about that VR could help unlock.

[00:24:56.074] James Blaha: I think there absolutely are. I'm excited to see what happens in the next few years. The last two have been amazing, so I can't even imagine what the next two are going to be like. Awesome.

[00:25:06.910] Kent Bye: Well, thank you so much. Thank you. So that was James Blaha of Vivid Vision and a number of different takeaways from this interview. First of all, whenever I give a talk and mention the fact that VR could help rehabilitate a lazy eye and be able to see in 3D for the first time, I often get people come up to me asking and just really hungry for more information about that. And, you know, I'm just glad that I'll be able to point them to seevividly.com to be able to check out more information and see if they have one of these clinics within their city. And I think they'll be continuing to, within their city. Another thing is that I don't think we're really starting to fully appreciate the implications of being able to completely control the input to our perceptual system. I mean, James named it where he said you'd be able to do that. And when you can do that, you can start to rewire your brain in all sorts of ways that we don't even know what's possible yet. And, you know, just seeing what's possible with what James has been able to do so far gives me a lot of encouragement that there's a whole lot of other different types of research and insight that we're going to learn about our brain, first of all, but then potentially be able to create these experiences that can grow and expand our minds in ways that we didn't know was possible. And so another final point is that one really striking thing about this interview is that the fact that a doctor could give a patient a virtual reality headset and not only be able to kind of give them homework and exercises to do every day that they'd really be motivated to do on their own, they can start to monitor and keep track of how their patient is doing. And so you're able to start to distribute the function of these medical professionals to be able to actually work at a higher scale. So if they're able to get these into people's homes with VR headsets and have some sort of online system then it to me points to something that's really like the future of medicine to be able to have something that's much more personalized to get more information and data about how people are progressing but also to have more specific feedback and directions from a doctor to be able to make your own treatment plan very specialized to who you are and how motivated you are and your specific circumstances and context. So with that, thanks again for listening. And if you'd like to support this podcast, then please consider becoming a contributor on my Patreon at patreon.com slash Voices of VR.

More from this show