Your long overdue state of the industry newsletter is here! What a summer! Mine was equally as fulfilling as it was difficult. Anyone relate? With all the trials and tribulations our planet and society have been going through, I am filled with joy to cover what’s unfolding in technology, wellness, psychedelic therapy, and the vast array of tools humanity continues to build towards our greater awakening.
Despite so many AI horror stories, I keep coming back to the mission of shifting our collective mindset to a more positive relationship with technology. With the viral explosion of “the Social Dilemma” and the overuse of technology running rampant, it has become more and more apparent that our future is in the hands of each one of us. The evolution of the human mind and heart doesn’t come from some large heroic act by a select few, it comes from the everyday small decisions we each make to spend our lives working to fulfill our purpose over scrolling through Instagram fantasies. The mission seems obtainable, if we can simply allow technology to be a tool, instead of a vice. I believe that compelling offers are out there to truly shift the narrative as the industry continues to grow. So here is the latest.
Question I have been pondering
Is the rise of digital therapeutics and psychedelic therapy a perfect storm for addressing the mental health crisis our world is facing?
Over the last few months there have been some important shifts in the “Digital Therapeutics” market. New doors are opening between medicine and the positive relationship we can form with technology.
There are a host of companies that are moving the needle forward in this intersection of psychedelic therapy and wellness technology; Introspect Me, Akili, Mindleap along with psychedelic research focused organizations like Compass Pathways, MAPS, and Universities like John Hopkins (and now UC Berkeley).
What’s most impactful about this intersection is the ability to magnify the effect of different psychedelic therapies, promote digital aftercare, and allow impactful priming for the experience, pretreatment.
This is supported by the ability to gamify your progress and for therapists to remote view your session so you can do a psychedelic treatment from the comfort of your home! The best part, in my opinion- with companies like Andromeda Entertainment, Tripp, and Akili - is that these experiences will not even require the use of psychedelics, but will still produce similar calming, heart opening, and even heightened oneness experiences in the patient.
Nikhil Krishnan made the case in a recent podcast that Digital Therapeutics 2.0 is on its way. “One really cool thing about this is, Akili is a therapeutic through and through. It is not trying to incentivize a behavior change to induce the therapeutic effect. The goal of the video game is to actually induce the therapeutic effect directly which brings a lot of the promises of true scalability.”
There's a magical potion being brewed in the cauldron of human progress and it lights me up to continue to uncover it through these emerging solutions. The implications of this on the healthcare industry, pharmaceuticals, preventive medicine, mental health and therefore, the world at large, is staggering. The greatest thing to come out of this Pandemic could be these digital therapies in conjunction with plant medicines finally being brought into the political spotlight, with well-funded research and advocated for by the mainstream populace.
The mission of addressing mental health issues at scale around the world seems to be one of the highest goals for humanity. When we address mental health, we get to the dis-ease instead of the symptom. Everything stems from our current inability as individuals to embody true happiness, fulfillment, perspective and acceptance. With these new industries starting to blossom, who knows how many global issues will be solved as a result of addressing humanity at a foundational level.
If this is of continued interest to you, check out these great Forbes articles:
Projects I have my eyes on
I have talked about this in the past and it just keeps getting better, a true development tool beyond the likes of anything I have ever seen. The new world, built in Rec Room, Alt Space, and now Facebook Horizon is cool, but Dreams seem to have it all figured out. Watch the video linked to get a feel for the incredible, user-generated content featured on the platform.
Speaking of dreams… What is dreaming but the most immersive, zero latency version of VR that can ever exist? The science of dreaming has started to really expand and this article blew my mind. A highlight: “This protocol[…] not only helps record dream reports, but also guides dreams toward particular themes by repeating targeted information at sleep onset, thereby enabling incorporation of this information into dream content.” Wow, just WOW.
The creators of Pokemon Go and the hall-of-fame team behind Sleep No More are going to have a baby together. This could set a new precedent for the future of entertainment. I am so grateful that these teams are finding synergy that “will be centered around outdoor exploration, movement, and social interaction.” Exactly what we need to recondition our society towards the social beings we truly are.
vTime has branched off from their social media platform. Their new project is focused on social care for families and vulnerable children. This partnership with Cornerstone seems to show a new utility of VR I had not considered in the past. “vTime says participants will be able to meet privately with families, teams of people, or individuals for things like remote supervision, virtual respite, therapeutic sessions, direct work with young people, and supervised contact.” Quite the leap from just “hanging out” in a social platform and I could not be happier about it. Cornerstone has also developed and launched a VR tool used in child adoption and fostering!
Thera VR is labeled as the complete VR telehealth system for practitioners and patients. Studies show the willingness of patients to truly open up skyrocket when they are masked by an avatar or speaking to an AI robot that wouldn’t judge them for their thoughts and feelings. There is an undeniable comfort in being able to hide our identity. This allows for a fuller expression of emotion and the potential to get much more out of therapy sessions than traditional methods..
What's New at Andromeda?
As psychedelic therapy comes to the forefront, our desire to have our mindfulness experiences embedded in the culture grows. With that I would like to address the community and let you know we are looking to connect with psychedelic therapists. We have a new title in the works that compliments Soundself well and in the near future we will have a variety of curated digital therapies that would fit into the perfect therapy integration protocol. Please let us know if you have anyone in mind.
Audio Trip Updates
The Kinemotic team has added a few new songs to the line up, with more on the way! The game is steadily increasing in popularity which was solidified by a recent Duo Pack Sale completed with another VR fitness title “Oh Shape” in mid September. We saw a 10x increase in sales!
From September 11-18, Oculus paired Audio Trip with our good friends over Oh Shape and hundreds of users jumped at the chance to get both games for a bundle price. Audio Trip continues to build a strong community of avid users and daily calorie burners with the YUR watch integration. Thanks to our friends at Oh Shape for promoting the Duo Pack with us. Pictures attached.
Additional News From The Transformative Tech Sector