Chilean Startup Neural Health promises to revolutionize health with Neurofeedback, AI and VR.

XR | NEUROFEEDBACK | AI


The startup specialized in biotechnology Neural Health©, is making people talk in large hospitals and clinics in Santiago, thanks to a patented method and system that has proven to be highly effective in reducing anxiety and stress states of people in the framework of their job. Likewise, the company has conducted clinical trials with patients, proving the effectiveness of the technology to reduce anxiety and pain in people during hospitalizations and even as a complement to the rehabilitation of COVID19 patients.


Burnout Prevention in Employees


Applying Neural Health © technology to allow the systematic reduction and prevention of work stress in employees of the health sector, has been one of the company's strategic pillars during the pandemic, a period in which it has been present in health facilities from the public and private sphere.


Currently, the company is delivering the Occupational Stress Prevention and Reduction service in the premises of one of the largest public hospitals in the capital and using its Virtual Cognitive © Burnout Prevention platform, the Hospital official's Comprehensive Care team, schedule and deliver sessions based on Neuro Virtual Reality assisted via EEG to your collaborators.


To carry out the Neural Health © initiative, it has counted on the support of the Hospital's Human Resources Department and the team from the Employee Comprehensive Attention Center (CAIF). The initiative offers the option of evaluating and treating work stress for hospital employees who wish to participate in the program for the prevention of Burnout. In addition, it has had the experience of Neural Health © in change management, to facilitate the adoption of the technology by employees.


During the months of execution, the CAIF team has used Neural Health © technology, offering a unique opportunity for collaborators to attend weekly scheduled sessions that they develop using technology based on Virtual Reality, Neurofeedback and the Cognitive Behavioral approach.


“Biotechnology and artificial intelligence, well used, are key to designing better solutions for the prevention of Burnout Syndrome in people. Thus, a better provision of health services and a greater impact and efficiency in prevention can be ensured, ”said CAIF Director Dr. Ximena Contreras. She also stressed that the program "will facilitate the acquisition of enormous experience in this regard and in this project all her experience and knowledge will be transferred to ensure that new institutions benefit."


Virtual Reality and Neural Feedback


Virtual Reality (VR) consists of a simulated experience that can be similar or completely different from the real world. Virtual reality applications can include entertainment and educational purposes such as the Neural Health © platform for the prevention of work-related stress.


Virtual reality systems use multiple projections to generate realistic environments, sounds and other sensations that simulate the physical presence of a user in a virtual place. A person who uses virtual reality equipment can look around the artificial world, move in it and interact with virtual elements or characteristics, etc., this is how the company has implemented a digital therapy to prevent and reduce work stress, where the The user experiences controlled exposure to stress in the first person, develops breathing exercises and meditation with a virtual guide, learns techniques for the development of attention and trains in adaptive response skills under the cognitive-behavioral approach.


Meanwhile, Biofeedback or Biofeedback is a technique that has been used for years to learn to control some of the body's functions, such as heart rate and brain waves. During the biofeedback, sensors are connected that allow to receive information about the state of the body. Some types of biofeedback devices measure physiological changes in the body, such as changes in the skin and heart rate activity, using one or more sensors attached to the fingers or head. The sensors transmit information to a computer.


In essence, Biofeedback provides the opportunity to practice new ways of controlling the body, to improve performance and feel better.


We know where and how much you relax!


One of the main innovations of Neural Health © in this matter, is linked to its development for the union in real time of Virtual Reality and Neurofeedback (EEG), where algorithms developed by the medical and technological team of Neural Health ©, allow evaluating anxious states of the person, levels of relaxation and concentration for a specific activity that the user is developing in the virtual environment, in turn quantify and are able to find an internal state of mindfulness and relaxation, which allows Users learn to self-correct and find internal balance to overcome the stresses of everyday life.


In meditations for example, these relaxation indicators have been used to create movement control over virtual objects that influence relaxation, giving rise to the Neurofeedback feature on Virtual Reality.


Using VR glasses and Neurofeedback (neural feedback) instructions, the devices and the Artificial Intelligence platform help control stress and assist in regulating breathing, relaxing muscles, and thinking of positive statements about coping ability. Studies show that these types of devices can be effective in enhancing responses during times of stress by inducing feelings of calm and well-being.


Regarding the debate on the use of virtual reality and neurofeedback, countless studies of its use have been documented worldwide in various fields, more than 20 years of experience and incredible results drove the team's decision to develop new use cases that incorporated techniques such as the Attention Training Technique (ATT) developed by Wells (1990) for use in metacognitive therapy.


Better People, Better Results Virtual Cognitive©


Virtual Cognitive © is the Neural Health © platform that allows the development of people and organizations by providing tools for the development of relaxation, concentration and learning techniques that allow employees to develop an adaptive response to different challenges within the framework of work.


The main characteristics and benefits lie in a platform that allows obtaining a better version of collaborators, more productive and concentrated, less exposed to Burnout, more accomplished in their work, more loyal to the company and more committed.


The sessions become reality in a room equipped for the use of technology in the client company's facilities, in terms of providing the necessary tranquility and isolation so that the user does not suffer distractions during their exercises. Sessions with a maximum duration of 30 minutes are weekly and are currently being scheduled and delivered by the personnel responsible for the client system, the latter has been able to actively participate in training and training in the use and application of the system.


The non-invasive program is provided through Virtual Reality for collaborators on site and alternatively from a smartphone app for users at home. Using real-time EEG, we record the waves of brain activity generated by people during development. The solution has been conceived as a program for personal development and growth that brings together the most advanced techniques in terms of stress prevention and learning tools under the cognitive-behavioral approach.


Burnout in the office can happen to anyone and knowing the signs early is crucial to take preventive measures but sometimes we don't notice it.

Relaxation allows for better physical health, greater control of our muscles and our physiological processes (blood pressure, breathing ...), improves cognitive capacity and reduces stress.


At a physiological level, relaxation decreases blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, adrenaline and norepinephrine secretion, respiratory rate, basal metabolism ... At a cognitive level, it allows us to increase concentration and creativity in addition to decreasing levels of stress and sadness.


The sessions are accompanied by guided meditation practices performed by a Virtual meditation guide.



SYSTEMATIC REDUCTION OF ANXIETY AND PAIN IN PATIENTS WITHOUT MEDICATION


A key trend is the treatment of the patient through virtual reality (VR). Millions of people suffer from chronic pain and virtual reality has proven to be a safer and more effective alternative to drugs.


On the other hand, scientists have successfully shown that a particularly prevalent pattern of brain activity can be strongly related to the body's susceptibility or resistance to pain (1), and in the same way Neural Health © has verified the presence of brain waves that indicate the presence of pain in people.


Considering these studies, Neural Health © and its medical team faced this new challenge, and developed a product called PAIN ESCAPE © which allows quite effectively to increase a person's ability to face pain and reduce it when it manifests.


To test the effectiveness of the PAIN ESCAPE © technology, the company conducted a clinical trial in one of the most important private health institutions in Chile where it was able to verify the effectiveness of virtual therapy with neural feedback for pain reduction.

During the pandemic, Covid19 patients have also benefited from the PAIN ESCAPE © solution. During the clinical trial, multiple joint sessions were also held with Physiotherapy personnel to comprehensively address the rehabilitation process of patients who suffered from COVID19.


PHANTOM PAIN


Under a preliminary medical conception that this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, experts now recognize that these real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain, however people who suffer from it affirm that "It seems to come from a part of the body that is no longer there. "


Camila works as a University Nurse at Clinica Santa María, one of the main private health providers in Chile. She has suffered from Phantom Pain since she was 6 years old, when she was amputated of one of her legs because of cancer, her pain accompanied her throughout her life from that moment on.


Not all pain feels the same, says Camila, the throbbing of a headache, for example, is very different from the acute pain of a cramp, therefore, it is not surprising that the pain of the phantom limb is not the same for all of them, in their case, comment that "sometimes it manifests as" pins and needles "and at other times as a true electric shock".


After learning about the Neural Health © solution, Camila has introduced the kit to her daily routine, it accompanies her during her long hours in the health service and also uses it from the comfort of her home, in her own words Camila has told us "Since using PAIN ESCAPE© I can fall asleep those nights when the pain hits me mercilessly".

Other users who suffer from chronic pain are Monica who suffers from Back Pain and André who suffers from Guillain-Barré syndrome, both using a personal kit have achieved excellent results in reducing pain from the practice of Virtual Neuro-assisted relaxation.


“At Neural Health© we are convinced that the introduction of programs for the diagnosis and prevention of Burnout for companies such as the one provided by Virtual Cognitive ©, facilitate the development of new skills in collaborators to better face stressors and develop skills that can put in practice at any time or place, and promote the improvement of people's health ”, said Eduardo Cornejo, Master in Innovation UAI and Director of Neural Health Technologies.


Source:(1) Dr. David Seminowicz de la Facultad de Odontología de la Universidad de Maryland - Universidad de Birmingham.

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