Augmented & Virtual Reality

Healium Helps Manage Air Force Mental Health

Overview Augmented and virtual reality technology company Healium was recently awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to explore deploying its mental fitness products to service members at home and in the field. How does virtual reality help airmen and soldiers self-regulate stress and brain waves to manage mental well-being?

According to the U.S. Department of Defense quarterly report, the number of deaths by suicide among military service members increased in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Department of Defense also recognized the potential effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental well-being of service members and their families and are taking proactive steps to mitigate those effects.

The U.S. Air Force recently announced that it awarded augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) company Healium an SBIR Phase 1 contract to explore deploying Healium’s products to service members.

Healium, a CES® exhibitor, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® member and CES 2019 AARP Pitch Competition winner, leverages AR/VR and the body’s electricity waves to combat mental health concerns and stress.

 

Healing with the Help of VR

Healium products allow users to biometrically alter their virtual environment through emotions and subsequently decrease their own stress. Powered by the user’s brain patterns and heart rate, the product lets users “heal” the virtual worlds, promoting the power of the user's positivity and sensations of healing.

“How are you supposed to learn to control your focus and calm if you can’t see them?” said Sarah Hill, Healium’s CEO and chief storyteller. “These experiences are designed to interrupt the stress response and allow the user to learn to self-regulate.”

As the user reaches different states of focus or quiet of the mind, the Healium headband picks up the brainwave pattern changes and powers the VR experience forward. As the accompanying smartwatch picks up the decreasing heart rate, the AR environment will also adjust accordingly.

 

Honoring and Serving Those Who Serve

The new contract with the U.S. Air Force is among other work Healium leads and participates in to serve service members.

Part of Healium’s social purpose is a program called Honor Everywhere. For aging and terminally ill veterans who aren’t able to physically travel to see memorials, Healium's VR alternative allows them to visit the sites from afar, which is particularly important because of the safety considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company also has a continuing partnership with The Outpost, a Virginia advisory broup helping advance next-generation companies within both commercial and national defense verticals.

“It’s an honor to serve these service members and their families who’ve sacrificed in ways we cannot imagine,” Hill said. “We get to learn their unique needs for mental wellness and human performance.”

Throughout the pandemic, Healium has also helped frontline workers, Hill explained in a CES 2021 interview with the CTA Foundation. From at-home users to professional athletes, chronic pain patients to company employees, various users can find relaxation with Healium.

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