Mental illnesses are on the rise, predominantly influenced by the ongoing deviations in societies and environmental changes. The damages of theses illnesses on short-term health and long-term well-being are also harmful for the overall society and the economies in the world. Solutions that help patients to mitigate experienced anxiety and build resilience to surrounding threats would yield a large and lasting benefit for the mental well being of the world population. Using technology, one potential solution could be Augmented Reality as part of an ongoing treatment of mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety and mood disabilities. With Augmented Reality we will bring the treatment out of the clinic and allow patients to stay connected with their environment at the same time.
Through the research I'm conducted during my PhD I want to contribute to the ongoing exploration and development of digital health solutions for the mental wellbeing of people. Based on a previous collaboration with clinical psychologist, where we evaluated the potential of Gaze Data in Virtual Reality as a potential tool for assessment of social anxiety, we continue with the development of novel intervention techniques. Therefore, I explore in how we can help people suffering from social anxiety in stressful situations, such as interviews or public presentations trough the usage of visual augmentations.