VR Apps to Combat Phobias: oVRcome

Virtual reality can be used for a wide variety of purposes, and oVRcome is a smartphone app that helps people make the most of this technology to overcome their fears. This app provides an immersive virtual reality experience and uses exposure therapy to place sufferers in a safe environment in the presence of their fear, without the immediate danger of it.

With a VR headset, users can increase their resilience when walking next to a dog, being surrounded by spiders, or standing high on a cliff.

In a randomized trial of 129 people conducted by New Zealand app developers and researchers at the University of Otago, Christchurch confirmed that oVRcome treats fear of flying, needles, heights, dogs and spiders.