Future Friday: How Smart Glasses Could Help Therapists Treat Patients More Effectively

Improving mental health with augmented reality (AR)

Globally, mental health disorders are a growing issue. Intensified by the 2020 lockdown, 1 in 4 Americans suffers from illnesses such as anxiety and depression. In an age where screen time skyrockets and face-to-face interaction plummets, could the forthcoming Smart Glasses era offer a solution?

READ: What doctor visits of the future could look like

In response to the mental health crisis, virtual therapy services explode in popularity. Industry leader TalkSpace has enrolled over 1 million patients. This online shift has forced therapists to remodel their practice, equipping practitioners with the tools to help patients remotely.

On the patient side, the shift is welcomed. Consumers benefit from an on-call therapist in the corner of their eye. Getting cheap, effective help is a growing concern - regardless if sessions are in-person or over Skype. Now that practices no longer need to pay for pricey offices, operating costs fall.

Could Smart Glasses make virtual therapists more effective?
Credit: Economic Times

How could Smart Glasses improve your mental health?

Already equipped with video calling apps like Skype and Zoom, Vuzix Smart Glasses could enhance a therapist’s ability to treat patients.

How Smart Glasses could improve a therapist’s practice in the 2020s and beyond:

  • Positive prompts: Feeling down? Smart Glasses could broadcast a well-timed “tomorrow is another day” or “don’t quit” message to patients. One day, these customized sayings could trigger when serotonin levels drop below a certain level.
  • Therapist on standby: When a patient has a bad day, they could instantly summon a virtual therapist. In the corner of their eye, these meetings could be brief and take place anywhere.
  • Understand your illness: Patients could use Smart Glasses to research symptoms and coping strategies, giving practitioners a new recovery tool. Therapists could prescribe helpful YouTube videos or podcasts. Instead of stopping your day to investigate, these life-affirming tools could play hands-free.
  • Recovery checklists: Finding an effective treatment strategy takes time. Using voice-recognition, patients could organize checklists, filter through therapists and keep journals without lifting a finger.
  • See what I see: A therapist-in-training’s first-person point-of-view could be sent to an off-site trainer. This would allow practices and schools to go over a patient’s body language in real-time. Footage could be saved, providing the industry more content to use as teaching material.
  • Library of things: Baffled by a unique disorder exhibited by your patient? Facial recognition tech could eventually provide instant diagnostics, giving therapists the info they need to design personalized treatments.

Imagine having an on-call therapist in the corner of your eye.
Credit: Careers in Psychology

High-tech solution to modern problems

It’s no secret: there’s a reason that mental health disorders increase in the digital age. We’re constantly plugged-in and are overwhelmed by a sped-up world.

What if the solution to this problem can be found in its source? As augmented reality technology improves, Smart Glasses will likely become more common.

These hands-free devices harness the power of AR, offering more seamless access to our digital tools.

Whether or not Smart Glasses bring therapists closer to patients, here are some of the tech’s latest breakthroughs:

“Vuzix” is a registered trademark of Vuzix Corporation
A Disclaimer Note from the Author: On Fridays we often let our imagination run wild at Vuzix. With our ‘Future Friday’ segment, we explore the endless possibilities offered by smart glasses. We encourage you to provide your feedback as your input will help us make these dreams a reality.