Innovation That Matters

VR app | Photo source Pixabay

Kickstarter project helps smokers kick the habit with VR

Sport & Fitness

A team from Mexico is developing an app that uses VR and smart technology to help make it easier to give up smoking.

MindCotine is a virtual reality and mindfulness program designed to help smokers curb their desire to smoke. The mobile app presents a set of immersive experiences that help manage cravings for smoking and develop skills necessary to face the challenge of relapse. Virtual Reality is used to deliver something called cue exposure therapy, a well established therapeutic technique, which attempts to recreate the feelings associated with drug or other addictions and deliver those ‘cues’ in non-health damaging ways. Users are asked to enter the Virtual Reality app for 20 minutes a day and exposed to a program that simulates feelings associated with smoking and encourages mindfulness.

The three co-founders are VR developer Cristian Witman, biomedical engineer Nicholas Rosencovich and biomedical engineer and organizational psychologist Emilio Goldenhersch. The team is hoping to raise USD 18,000 on Kickstarter and they plan to sell the kit for just USD 15 a pop, the same price as two packs of cigarettes in the United States.

MindCotine is just the latest application of technology for therapeutic or stress-relief purposes. This year Springwise has already reported how VR has been used to help patients prepare for chemotherapy and to acclimatize prison inmates to life on the outside, to name just two.

Is there any end to Virtual Realities capacity to provide therapeutic relief? Will apps become our go-to therapeutic treatments of the future?




Download PDF