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Front Psychiatry. 2017 Apr 28;8:26. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00026. eCollection 2017.

DJINNI: A Novel Technology Supported Exposure Therapy Paradigm for SAD Combining Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

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Information Science Institute, Computer Science Centre, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Experimental Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics Lab, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Clinical Psychology, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands.


The present paper explores the benefits and the capabilities of various emerging state-of-the-art interactive 3D and Internet of Things technologies and investigates how these technologies can be exploited to develop a more effective technology supported exposure therapy solution for social anxiety disorder. "DJINNI" is a conceptual design of an in vivo augmented reality (AR) exposure therapy mobile support system that exploits several capturing technologies and integrates the patient's state and situation by vision-based, audio-based, and physiology-based analysis as well as by indoor/outdoor localization techniques. DJINNI also comprises an innovative virtual reality exposure therapy system that is adaptive and customizable to the demands of the in vivo experience and therapeutic progress. DJINNI follows a gamification approach where rewards and achievements are utilized to motivate the patient to progress in her/his treatment. The current paper reviews the state of the art of technologies needed for such a solution and recommends how these technologies could be integrated in the development of an individually tailored and yet feasible and effective AR/virtual reality-based exposure therapy. Finally, the paper outlines how DJINNI could be part of classical cognitive behavioral treatment and how to validate such a setup.


VRET; augmented reality; exposure therapy; social anxiety disorder; social phobia; virtual reality therapy

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