A Veterans’ Path to a Technology-Driven PTSD Solution

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military man with VR headset on used for training or therapy

It’s challenging to define what smart city technology actually looks like when living in the forefront of an Information Technology (IT) age. But understanding and being able to grasp the benefits of living in such an environment early on can be extremely beneficial – if you know what signs to look for. – Gordon Dodson, 2B3D’s Chief Integration Officer

Does nascent smart city technology influence or help an individual that routinely manages their mental anxiety or trauma? Unless you already reside in an environment where you are continuously monitored and immediate response actions are available, access to such smart city technology may be limited or costly, especially for the majority of the individuals who currently need care.  

Smart cities were the genesis

In theory, a smart city is a municipality design that uses information and communication technology to optimize operations, eCommerce, governance, the flow of information, and the physical and mental welfare of its citizens. A smart city can balance economic growth and quality of life through data analysis and so-called “smart” technologies. 

The team behind 2B3D took the concept of smart city technology one step further and asked, “What would this look like in the metaverse, with one of their primary concerns being mental health.”

A key observation made by the veteran-owned and operated 2B3D development team was that individuals diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) discover that their anxiety state of mind is quickly distracted, or redirected when influenced by Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) technology, resulting in a psychological landscape in which the individual can mentally, and most often unconsciously, renavigate to a more stable mindset.

“Imagine if we could achieve this desired effect without total dependence on prescription drug solutions,” says Robert Bell, CEO of 2B3D “It would be a total game changer. We understand that the state-of-the-industry science tells us that sustained recovery in addiction treatment may best be served by a holistic approach involving Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), diet and exercise, lifestyle changes, and the introduction of medication like naltrexone in cases where a doctor determines that a cover-the-waterfront approach is needed. But for those that don’t require medication as part of their treatment – our space may be the only prescription they receive!”

Virtual Reality therapy

VR therapy, or the use of VR technology for psychological or therapeutic rehabilitation, is backed by more than 25 Years of scientific research. The Office of Naval Research believes this type of therapy, with its video game-like qualities, will resonate with the current generation of warfighters. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, video games can help veterans recover from post-traumatic stress. 

In some studies, virtual reality therapy reduced stress response measurements by 56-90 percent, and in an open clinical trial of VR therapy by the Office of Naval Research, 45 percent of those treated for PTSD no longer screened positive. 

“We are making great strides toward achieving our goal to provide those affected by trauma or have PTSD stress responses and need mental health intervention, with rapid access to a virtual reality solution housed in the 2B3D metaverse,” Bell said.

“It’s all about taking care of others at the time when they need help, especially those who have taken care of us. No matter if you are a military veteran, firefighter, police officer, border patrol agent, or a security guard, you risk your life for an honorable cause, and we fully support that attribute.”

“Taking a great idea and turning it into reality, or in this case virtual reality, can be a challenge at the enterprise level,” said Mark Schonberg, 2B3D Chief of Staff. However, when your tool bag has great resources to pull from, then it makes the mission much easier to achieve.”  

Making the logistics work

2B3D is in the process to ensure two things happen. First, they are logistically creating a specialized space in the metaverse where mental health can be addressed, especially for those displaying signs of trauma or PTSD and need help, explained Schonberg. Second, it will establish information security policies and procedures by providing state-of-the-art cyber security measures to ensure individual personal identifiable information will always be protected.  

Coordinating the delivery of IT services, while providing inherent cyber security functions in support of our national defense over multiple years has given the 2B3D team a deep appreciation for the delicate balance between ensuring easy access to applications and understanding the inherent security vulnerabilities associated with that easy access. We analyze lessons learned from others who have tried similar concepts and proceed forward with only the best business practices.

There are a few other key lines of effort that 2B3D is currently exploring within the Metaverse that some experts would consider key elements of so-called ‘smart city life. As with any smart city, it really comes down to what you can access and from where. 

We can reach veterans by providing the hardware and software they need to access and take advantage of these products and services that we will continue to refine and offer. And to us, that is a major win a long time coming in our world. 

To achieve a Smart City vision takes years in the physical realm, but to provide Smart City services from a metaverse platform is already achievable and 2B3D has made it its mission to show the world. We’ve been preparing for this launch for a long time now and we’re ready for what comes next.

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Gordon is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who served in both the enlisted and officer corps. Shortly after achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant and graduating college with a degree in Computer Science, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division where he obtained Senior Jumpmaster status. Gordon spent the next 19 years serving in a variety of units to include the Southern European Task Force - Airborne where he served as the Deputy Joint Communications Officer responsible for both tactical and strategic communications throughout a theater of operations, to include Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star.