by Carmine Jichetti
Whether it be by vaccination or treatment we have always managed a way to survive side-by-side with viruses. New protocols are being developed, seemingly daily, to combat the spread of COVID-19 while scientist work around the clock searching for an answer. While nothing is certain about the work they are doing, there is one thing that is inevitable from this — there will be a fallout. I’m not talking about a fiscal or political fallout. I’m talking about a mental one. More specifically the mental stability of our HCP’s who have been fighting this war from day one. There are already multiple cases of suicide amongst doctors who were on the front-lines treating patients at the beginning of the pandemic. Physical demands aside, the mental stress that comes with working in an environment like this will last long past the point of finding any kind of treatment or vaccine.
Treatment for PTSD caused by the pandemic must be as big of a priority as finding a solution to the virus itself.
One opportunity for technology to aid in fighting this unfortunate byproduct of the pandemic is Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET). Using a head-mounted display, PTSD patients are immersed in a computer-generated environment that can be programmed to help the person directly confront their specific fears and the situations that bring on their PTSD. The ultimate goal of the exposure therapy would be to reduce the fear and anxiety associated with whatever triggers were borne from fighting COVID-19.
Interested in learning more about how innovative technologies are being used in the fight against COVID-19? Check out our POV on how organizations are leveraging health data to combat the pandemic.