Like many other industries, the healthcare sector has started to apply Web3 technologies to better serve those who need it. Health services now appear in the metaverse, specifically for those seeking care for their mental health.
Cointelegraph spoke to two executives from Innerword, a metaverse program of mental health support groups, about how the metaverse can change the next generation of mental health services.
Connectivity is an inherent feature of virtual environments, as is the ability to connect with greater anonymity through the use of avatars and usernames. Noah Robinson, CEO and founder of the platform, says that in the mental health arena, “this helps people to open up more and be more vulnerable, which in turn leads to faster healing.”
He went on to say that unlike traditional therapy sessions, access to which is often limited, metaverse-based sessions allow people access to “an entire community full of empathic and supportive people,” available 24 hours a day, 7 Days of the week.
“Democratizing access means allowing people to access mental health help whenever and to the extent that they need it.”
According to the CEO of Innerworld, the platform underwent three years of clinical research, with more than 20,000 hours in beta before launch.
Innerworld’s chief strategy officer, Jewel – also known for her career as a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter – said her mental health journey began as a teenager and she wonders what it’s like for kids like her today.
Jewel explained to Cointelegraph that when he became interested in virtual reality, he quickly realized that it could be used as a tool to provide peer support, using methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral tools.
“The potential was great; we really had a scalable system that could deliver deep mental health intervention.”
It has already been said that other Web3 tools, such as artificial intelligence, robots and the blockchain, are the pillars of the next generation of the health sector. Now, the connectivity and peer-to-peer promises of the metaverse add another layer of support to those in need.
Jewel said this allows platforms like Innerworld to start testing tools at scale, typically only available in a doctor’s office, alongside mental health experts and activities at scale.
“I think it’s going to be the biggest positive disruptor to the mental health space.”
According to data collected by Innerworld on user participation in its metaverse-based support groups, users have experienced a “significant decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
In the academic field, professionals have affirmed that mental health support is a key factor for decentralization.
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