Ibm  Loneliness and the aging population. How businesses and governments can address a looming crisis.

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Dr.Sonya Kim was interviewed by IBM for IBM Institute for Business Value's Executive Report on
Loneliness and the aging population. How businesses and governments can address a looming crisis.

Economist  Economist's Business of Longevity Conference

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"Disruptive Technology will foster aging market" Speaker. Dr. Sonya Kim, CEO One Caring Team. Business of Longevity Conference - The Economist.

Immerse Technology Summit- Bellevue, WA

Transforming Complex Healthcare Challenges with Virtual Reality

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Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sonya Kim - CEO & Founder One Caring Team
Dr. Kim, a Board-certified Emergency Physician and an experienced entrepreneur, earned her MD from SUNY Stony Brook and her joint MBA from Columbia Business School and UC Berkeley. She founded One Caring Team in 2014 and has focused on bringing VR to bear on one of the most difficult chronic care problems: dementia. Current research proves VR not only reduces pain, but also anxiety and depression which are key areas of dementia. Pilot studies are scheduled to begin in 2016. Prior to One Caring Team, Dr. Kim was the Founder and Medical Director of Best MD House Calls where she delivered personalized medical care at the comfort of patients’ homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through her medical house calls, Dr. Kim discovered a link between social isolation and a decrease in the quality of life in aging adults. One Caring Team’s mission is to address this condition and reduce health care costs associated with this demographic and, more importantly, rejuvenate our elders’ hope for regular meaningful connections with others who care. In her medical career, she has taken care of over 40,000 patients at level I trauma centers, level II trauma centers, and urgent care settings. Her mission in life is to inspire others to live in other centric universe with compassion where we could all experience greater level of happiness.

Women's Leadership Conference

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Theo Schwabacher's 5th annual Women's Intelligence Trust (W.I.T.) conference will be held on Thursday, April 30th at the St. Francis Yacht Club. We will begin at 8:30am and have Dr. Christine Carter, author of "The Sweet Spot," as our breakfast keynote speaker.

Dr.Sonya Kim will present the power of human connection and its effect on the silent epidemic of isolation and loneliness amongst the elders in our community during the innovation session.

Preventive Emotional Care for Older Adults conference Honolulu, Hawaii

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Dr. Sonya will share stories regarding health implications of social isolation and loneliness in older adults. The secret to best health outcomes will be revealed at this invite only event. Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fundraising Concert for Seniors, San Jose, CA

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Forgotten and neglected elders need to hear from another caring person today. Our Kindness Program is about reconnecting elders to life through power of human connections.

LOVE Concert for Senior Adults

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Dr. Sonya Kim produced the inaugural LOVE Concert at a local retirement community to launch One Caring Team’s Kindness Program. Seniors who had attended asked their community director when One Caring Team will return for another LOVE concert. Many elder care professionals were touched by our mission to bring personalized conversations to millions of seniors in our community.

Heartfelt Connections With Kids' Art Work For Elders, San Francisco

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Dr. Sonya shared Betty’s story which inspired her to found One Caring Team with the Bay Leaf Kitchen’s children. 28 children shared their heartfelt artwork with amazing messages to let the seniors know that WE CARE about them. “Please don’t give up; we love you!!!“ Some kids drew healthy food to eat while others made personalized cards for lonely seniors who have no visitors at the assisted living facilities in our community.

Startribune 

This physician is using virtual reality to treat patients with dementia

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ONE CARING TEAM

Sonya Kim created Aloha VR, which uses virtual reality to engage patients.


For most people, virtual reality’s promise of transporting us to a different world in a heartbeat is a great novelty. But for those who cannot travel freely, it’s a lifeline.

Sonya Kim, a physician in the San Francisco Bay Area, has been taking virtual-reality headsets to seniors as a part of their medical treatment. Her therapy program, Aloha VR, lets seniors use the headsets to bring variety into their days, relax and get away to a virtual tropical locale.

High-tech and seniors may not go together in many people’s minds.

But virtual reality is actually just the latest in technologies helping them. Nintendo Wii’s motion gaming technology, in its heyday, was a hit in nursing homes, as a way to get residents to exercise. Kinect, Microsoft’s motion gaming sensor, has been used to help patients recover from painful operations. And many wearable and smart appliance technologies are being developed to help older people stay in their own homes.

Virtual-reality applications have been mostly focused on gaming, but their role in therapy is being examined by a handful of medical professionals, such as Kim. Her company, One Caring Team, checks in with lonely seniors — partly to stave off the potentially debilitating depression that grips many older adults who live on their own. A woman who heard Kim speak about her company asked Kim to help her mother, who had dementia and couldn’t carry on a conversation.

“That gave me a new homework assignment,” said Kim, who began researching technologies that could help those patients. “It’s a new solution for an old problem. It lifts the moods of those patients who are so anxious and bored or depressed because they think no one cares about them. We’ve brought beautiful places to seniors who can’t go anywhere.”

Aloha VR is getting some dramatic results. In many cases, seniors who have withdrawn from the rest of the world because of dementia or depression have had their overall behavior greatly altered by their digital trips to the beach. Kim has seen patients who were unresponsive or even violent completely change after a few VR sessions.

Why does it work? Even Kim is not completely sure, but she does have a theory: Immersing some patients in a virtual world stimulates their brains in a variety of ways. “I think VR allows patients’ neural pathways to be reactivated — some have dormant pathways — because of the power of presence, of having something right in front of them without any distraction.”

Kim is now trying to raise money for One Caring Team and Aloha VR to expand the programs, make them more cost-effective and work with other organizations that are looking at different ways to use virtual reality.

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This physician is using virtual reality to treat patients with dementia

Doctors are using virtual reality to help fight depression and dementia. (Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post)


For most people, virtual reality’s promise of transporting us to a different world in a heartbeat is a great novelty. But for those who cannot travel freely, it’s a lifeline.

Sonya Kim, a physician in the San Francisco Bay area, has been taking virtual-reality headsets to seniors as a part of their medical treatment. Her therapy program, Aloha VR, lets seniors use the headsets to bring variety into their days, relax and get away to a virtual tropical locale.

High-tech and seniors may not go together in many people’s minds. But virtual reality is actually just the latest in technologies helping them. Nintendo Wii’s motion gaming technology, in its heyday, was a hit in nursing homes, as a way to get residents to exercise. Kinect, Microsoft’s motion gaming sensor, has been used to help patients recover from painful operations. And many wearable and smart appliance technologies are being developed to help older people live in their own homes, rather than go to nursing homes.

Virtual-reality applications have been mostly focused on gaming, but their role in therapy is being examined by a handful of medical professionals, such as Kim.

Kim’s company, One Caring Team, checks in with lonely seniors — partially to stave off the potentially debilitating depression that grips many older adults who live on their own. A woman, who heard Kim speak about her company, asked Kim to help her mother, who had dementia and couldn’t carry on a conversation.

“That gave me a new homework assignment,” said Kim, who began researching technologies that could help those patients. She was particularly struck by the potential for VR therapy to help seniors with loneliness after trying it out at a game developer’s conference. Kim then worked to develop Aloha VR.

“It’s a new solution for an old problem,” Kim said. “It lifts the moods of those patients who are so anxious and bored or depressed because they think no one cares about them. We’ve brought beautiful places to seniors who can’t go anywhere.”

Aloha VR is getting some dramatic results. In many cases, seniors who’ve withdrawn from the rest of the world because of dementia or depression have had their overall behavior greatly altered by their digital trips to the beach. Kim has seen patients who were unresponsive or even violent completely change after a few VR sessions.

One male patient with dementia stands out in Kim’s mind. At 6-foot-2, this patient was always hunched over and constantly anxious, she said. He never participated in group sessions, preferring to sit in a corner. But when he used the VR headset, he became alert, relaxed and engaged with the scenes he saw, his caregivers said. When his wife saw a video of him reacting to the therapy, Kim said, she nearly began to cry.

“She was so moved to see this therapy bring happiness and joy to her husband, who was trapped in this demented body,” Kim said. In subsequent sessions, he even began to sing and flap his fingers when he saw a bird fly by in the program. “It was amazing to watch this transformation,” Kim said.

Kim’s company has received several testimonials from patients’ relatives and caregivers who said the relaxing effects of the virtual-reality sessions have lasted for weeks. In the case of the dementia patient who started singing during his virtual-reality session, his family told Kim that they no longer worry about him hitting his caregivers or pulling their hair.

Why does it work? Even Kim is not completely sure, but she does have a theory: Immersing some patients in a virtual world stimulates their brains in a variety of ways. “I think VR allows patients’ neural pathways to be reactivated — some have dormant pathways — because of the power of presence, of having something right in front of them without any distraction,” she said.

Kim is now trying to raise money for One Caring Team and Aloha VR to expand the programs, make them more cost-effective and work with other organizations that are looking at different ways to use virtual reality.

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LA RÉALITÉ VIRTUELLE AU SECOURS DES SENIORS

Papi et mamie dans le turfu

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One caring team, une startup basée à San Francisco, utilise depuis 2015 la réalité virtuelle pour soigner les seniors souffrant de solitude. Affublés de leur casque, ces retraités 3.0 s’évadent loin, très loin des murs de leur clinique sans quitter leur fauteuil.


Jusqu’ici, pour soigner les séniors, vous pensiez paracétamol, amlodipine ou benserazide. Depuis 2015, la société californienne One caring team propose Aloha VR, un programme de réalité virtuelle qui permet à nos aînés d’explorer des destinations paradisiaques sans quitter leur domicile. La réalité virtuelle est bel et bien en train de faire son entrée dans l’arsenal thérapeutique.

« Plus d’une centaine d’articles de recherche clinique démontrent une corrélation positive entre l’utilisation de la réalité virtuelle et la gestion de la douleur chronique, de l’anxiété et de la dépression », explique le Dr Sonya Kim médecin et fondatrice de One caring Team. « Une amélioration de la qualité de vie des patients réduit le nombre de visites inutiles aux urgences et de réadmissions à l’hôpital » ajoute-t-elle.

Aloha VR est actuellement testé lors de sessions privées ou au cours de thérapies de groupe organisées dans certains centres de la baie de San Francisco. Il s’adresse aux personnes âgées atteintes de démence, d’anxiété ou d’ennui.

Voyager à domicile

Une fois qu'il a chaussé son casque de réalité virtuelle, l’utilisateur est transporté au cœur d’une scène idyllique à base de plages de sables fins, de musique relaxante et de mots apaisants qui apparaissent sous la forme de pop-ups. Une version sans texte existe également pour les patients atteints de troubles cognitifs.

« Cette méthode évite les effets secondaires causés habituellement par les produits pharmaceutiques », commente Sonya Kim. Il n’y pas d’âge limite pour bénéficier du programme, mais certaines conditions sont tout de même à remplir : tolérer le poids du casque virtuel, avoir une vision suffisante pour être en mesure de se concentrer sur l’écran, et être capable de percevoir les couleurs.

Concernant le motion sickness ou « mal de la réalité virtuelle », responsable d’épisodes de nausées et de vomissements, Sonya Kim se veut rassurante. « Cela apparaît lorsque l'utilisateur déplace sa tête trop vite et que l'ordinateur ne génère pas les images assez rapidement », précise-t-elle. « Pour notre usage, il n'y a aucune raison de déplacer sa tête brusquement et nous utilisons un ordinateur très puissant. Aucun patient n’a ressenti de gêne jusqu’ici. »

Cap sur l’Europe

Actuellement en phase d’essais cliniques, le programme est testé sur 30 volontaires. « Dans un mois, nous passerons à la phase bêta et porterons le nombre de patients à 100 », annonce Sonya Kim. « Notre prochaine étape sera d'étendre Aloha VR à Los Angeles et Seattle. Nous recevons également des demandes de la Côte Est, d’Hawaii et de la Chine. »

Par ailleurs, l’entreprise américaine souhaite exporter sa méthode en Europe. « Les règles de sécurité et de confidentialité des patients sont différentes outre-Atlantique », remarque-t-elle. « Nous devons trouver les bons partenaires pour nous aider avec les lois et les coutumes européennes. » Distraire nos retraités avec Des chiffres et des lettres deviendra peut être un lointain souvenir...

Npr home  HEALTH NEWS FROM NPR

Virtual Reality Aimed At The Elderly Finds New Fans

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Virginia Anderlini (right) was the first private client to try out Dr. Sonya Kim's new virtual reality program for the elderly, and says she's eager to see more. Kim's handful of programs are still at the demo stage. Kara Platoni/KQED

Kara Platoni/KQED


Virginia Anderlini is 103 years old, and she is about to take her sixth trip into virtual reality.

In real life, she is sitting on the sofa in the bay window of her San Francisco assisted-living facility. Next to her, Dr. Sonya Kim gently tugs the straps that anchor the headset over Anderlini's eyes.

But in the virtual world, Anderlini is on a Hawaiian beach, and it's sunset, and she is surrounded by a glistening sea and a molten, purple-red sky. If she looks up, she sees the fronds of an enormous palm tree, and falling rainbow specks that dance in the air like the light from a disco ball.

"Hello, it's so nice to see you again," comes Kim's prerecorded voice from inside the headset. "It's such a beautiful day today, isn't it?"

"Oh my goodness!" says Anderlini, sounding delighted. She turns her head slowly from side to side, taking in the details of the virtual landscape: little grass shacks, twists of driftwood, outcroppings of volcanic rock. "Hey, that's really pretty!"

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Aloha VR combines images of beaches with music, brief text and an audio introduction and welcome from the physician who helped create the program.

Courtesy of One Caring Team


"In the back, look at this," she continues, wriggling around to see the imaginary world behind her. "Terry, you've got to see this, too!" she calls to her son, who is watching nearby.

For a virtual reality entrepreneur, Kim has an unusual target audience: the elderly. Anderlini is the first private client for Kim's Aloha VR program, which Kim envisions as a way to help people relax, an alternative to endlessly watching TV and a change of scenery for those who can't get out much.

And for those unhappy in the present day, virtual reality might provide an escape into an immersive other world that "allows them to forget their chronic pain, anxiety, the fact that they are alone," Kim says. In VR, she says, her company has found "a new care modality to bring to a senior care setting like this, to inspire them to live another day, where they're happy."

'No One Cares About Me'

A former emergency room doctor, Kim found her way to virtual reality through a series of tough requests. A few years ago, she was running a house-call practice when she received a call for help from a woman whose 88-year-old mother had stopped eating and drinking. As a result, she'd made three trips to the ER in a month, racking up more than $50,000 in medical bills.

Kim knew that seniors often end up in the hospital for preventable conditions — like dehydration, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances — exacerbated by loneliness and lack of self-care. And when she asked the older woman why she'd stopped eating, Kim recalls, her patient replied: " 'No one loves me. No one cares about me. I don't matter anymore. Why should I eat, why should I drink, why should I live? I just want to die today.' "

"When I was driving back home from that visit, I couldn't stop sobbing," Kim says. "As a single woman without any kids, I thought, when I'm her age, who's going to call me? Who's going to take care of me?"

That interaction led Kim to found One Caring Team in 2014. Staffers regularly phone seniors at home to check on their mood, medications and appointments, and prompt them to chat about positive subjects, like what makes them happy or what they could do to bring joy to someone else.

But then one day, as Kim was giving a talk about her service, a man in the audience asked: "What about my mom?" His mother has dementia, he said, and couldn't have a coherent phone conversation. Finding a solution for his mom, Kim says, became her "new homework assignment."

By chance, Kim had been reading about virtual reality and decided to attend a VR mixer in San Francisco; someone let her use an Oculus headset to walk through a virtual garden, and she "totally fell in love" with the medium. Convinced the older patients would like it, too, she borrowed a friend's headset and took it to a preventive care conference. By the time she was done, she already had directors of assisted-living facilities asking about pricing.

That convinced her that the concept could sell, but she wanted to make sure VR could actually make people feel better.

Easing Chronic Pain, Anxiety and Depression

"There are over 100 clinical research papers that are already published that show proven positive clinical outcomes using VR in managing chronic pain, anxiety and depression," she says. "And in dementia patients, all those three elements are very common."

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These images from an fMRI scan show areas of the brain affected by pain, and how those activated areas quieted down for one test patient who donned a headset that immersed the patient in a virtual reality world.

Courtesy of Dr. Sam Sharar/University of Washington


For example, in the 1990s, pioneering researchers at the University of Washington developed SnowWorld, an icy virtual environment that reduced pain for burn victims during wound treatment. More recently, Dr. Albert Rizzo's lab at the University of Southern California has helped military veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder, by offering exposure therapy in virtual environments. The Veterans United Foundation has created virtual reality experiences of veterans' memorials, for vets who can't travel to see them. And scientists at the Chronic Pain Research Institute have tested a virtual meditative walk meant to help users manage pain and stress.

VR is typically formulated for younger users, and often asks them to play games, solve puzzles, master new information and move around energetically. But many of Kim's clients use wheelchairs; those with advanced dementia cannot read or follow verbal commands. Nearly all of them are unfamiliar with the conventions of virtual reality devices, which assume that the user knows to swivel his or her head to take in the 360-degree view, to move around to make the landscape scroll, or to tap objects to interact with them. Instead, many of Kim's clients go through entire sessions seated, heads cast down, hands folded in their laps. Sometimes her staff has to gently pivot clients' chins to help them look to the side.

But exploration and beating puzzles aren't the point of this kind of VR: The environments have no story-line, just scenery. Kim says the name Aloha VR is a nod to her experiences working in a Hawaiian emergency room, where she came to admire the state's "ohana spirit," a concept that encompasses love for extended family and respect for elders.

In the version of the VR program Anderlini is watching, Kim's voice offers a friendly welcome and reminds her to take her medication to stay healthy. As she speaks, the brief text pops up in little orange bubbles that burst pleasingly at the end of each sentence. Versions for the cognitively impaired have no words at all; just music and the sounds of waves.

"If there are too many words, if there are too many things we're asking, they're going to get frustrated," said Kim.

Instead, the point is to make users feel safe and welcome. "Dementia patients often feel lost, because they feel that they don't belong anywhere," says Kim — they may be confused about their surroundings or who they are, or estranged from family members overwhelmed by their care. By giving them a beautiful beach, Kim said, "I want them to feel found again."

In addition to having private clients, Kim conducts group therapy sessions at Bay Area assisted-living centers, where a dozen or so people take turns with the goggles. Although some of her clients struggle with verbal communication, they seem to have found other ways to express enjoyment. One client, Kim said, simply blew kisses. Another hummed happily. A third stole 40 minutes in the headset, repeatedly asking for "Just a little more, hon." A few just go to sleep.

The Challenge: Heavy And Expensive Headsets

There are still challenges for the company to work out. The headsets can be heavy; it can take seniors a while to warm up to trying them. And while prices for mobile VR equipment have come down, it still costs about $850 for each Samsung Gear VR headset plus the Galaxy smartphone that slides into it — costly enough that the firm doesn't have a rig for each client.

Kim's company has created a handful of virtual environments for demonstration purposes, but it will take time and money to build more. So, for now, they also buy off-the-shelf programs to give the clients a little variety. (They recently teamed with the Virtual World Society, a group that intends to use VR to promote social good. The group's founder, the University of Washington's virtual interface pioneer Dr. Tom Furness, is now One Caring Team's acting chief technology officer.)

So far, Virginia Anderlini has taken virtual visits to Venice and Africa and, after her brief trip to the beach, spent some time in an autumn-themed meditation session watching leaves fall. But she's seen it before, and soon asks for something different. What virtual world would she like to try next? "Just something I haven't seen before," she says.

But that could be tougher than it sounds.

"You know, when you get to this age, I think you've seen everything," Anderlini says, and laughs.

This story was produced by KQED's health and technology blog, Future of You.

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Virtual reality ho! Startups race to stake a claim in new field

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Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle


Josh Cincinnati with Blockcypher tries out virtual reality racing game “Monowheels” by Imgnation Studios.


The virtual land rush is on.

The last two weeks brought a flurry of activity from long-established companies and startups alike trying to stake their claims in the vast, unsettled territory of virtual reality.

And the rush doesn’t just include tech firms. Virtual reality is now the next big thing in health care, insurance, education, environmental protection, real estate, art, movies, music, sports and — of course — porn.

“We’re at a tipping point,” said Jason Paul of Nvidia, which is betting on virtual reality to become a pillar of the Santa Clara graphics chip maker’s revenues.

“We see virtual reality as the next major computing platform,” said Paul, Nvidia’s virtual reality general manager. “It’s the ultimate display that people will use to get work done.”

The long-awaited release of two consumer-oriented virtual reality headsets served as the cannon shot that sparked the rush.

Last week, Facebook-owned Oculus VR started shipping its $599 Rift to customers who had placed advance orders. This week, Taiwan phone maker HTC and Bellevue, Wash., game developer Valve begin shipping the consumer version of their $799 HTC Vive.

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Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle


Erin Shipley talks with Brian Eppert, chief tech nology officer of V, a widget and utility platform.


Meanwhile, Samsung primed the pump by giving away for a limited time its $99 Gear VR to boost sales of its newest Galaxy mobile phones. And Sony’s $399 PlayStation VR is set to enter the fray in October.

With VR devices finally hitting the market, a long list of companies is trying to take advantage of the new medium — and not just for video games.

Last week, the Giants teamed up with Palo Alto’s Jaunt to offer fans VR experiences that include standing in the batting cages and going for a ride with pitcher Sergio Romo. The experiences will be available on headsets stationed at AT&T Park’s social media room, the @Cafe, tucked behind the center field bleachers.

Liberty Mutual Insurance introduced a virtual reality video quiz on Facebook to show customers what to do if their car breaks down.

To be sure, the vast majority of consumers have yet to experience virtual reality, much less buy devices that to most seem like expensive toys.

But that’s not slowing the unbridled enthusiasm of entrepreneurs like Dr. Sonya Kim, founder and CEO of San Carlos startup One Caring Team. Her firm is creating VR experiences to provide a non-drug treatment for seniors dealing with dementia and loneliness, immersing them in relaxing scenes of virtual beaches or fireflies.

“We’re the first mover in the senior care industry, and we want to be the No. 1 global medical VR company,” Kim said Thursday after pitching her startup to a meeting of venture capital investors organized by San Mateo’s Boost VC. “We are going to disrupt dementia care.”

Tyler Andersen, CEO of V, a San Mateo startup that’s building a way to run services like Slack and Spotify in virtual environments, said entrepreneurs are excited about the nascent industry “that has so much potential, but doesn’t really have a direction yet.”

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Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle


After the presentations at the Boost VC event, participants talk about their projects and visions for virtual reality.


“It’s similar to building a train station,” he said. “You’ve got to build it before the tracks come, because that’s the foundation for, hopefully, the entire ecosystem.”

Although a study from BCC Research this week said the global market for virtual and augmented reality should jump to $105.2 billion in 2020, no one has struck gold yet. The field is still too new.

“The gold rush is going to be over the next 10 years,” said Adam Draper, founder of Boost VC, an accelerator that has invested in 35 virtual reality startups. “This is a long-term gold rush rather than just a quick gold rush.”

But if anyone hits that mother lode early, it might be the pornography industry. Porn has historically led the way in making a profit from emerging visual technologies, from film to video to streaming.

Two weeks ago, adult video streaming site Pornhub, which claims 2.1 million visitors per hour, joined Barcelona’s BaDoinkVR to offer free virtual reality video. Pornhub gave away 10,000 promotional Google Cardboard VR viewers and quickly ran out.

“At Pornhub it is our duty to provide our global audience with the latest in cutting edge technology,” Pornhub vice president Corey Price said in a press release.

Other forms of entertainment, including video games and movies, also figure to lead the charge this year, said Todd Richmond, director of advanced prototype development for the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.

But Richmond expects a backlash as consumers discover that VR content has not yet caught up to the hype.

“We’re in this shiny-object phase where everybody’s excited to try VR,” Richmond said. “But right now, the best we can do is re-create experiences and create new experiences. We can’t tell stories.”

“People have high expectations,” he said. “We’re used to very good movies, first-person shooter games, HDTV and televised sports. Now you’re going into VR, and it’ll all be a big step backwards, because the resolution is lower and there’s a disconnect between your body, so a lot of of people are going to get sick.” Indeed, some viewers of VR devices have experienced nausea.

However, Richmond does expect the VR industry to figure things out, eventually.

“In health care, education and business, VR and (augmented reality) have unlimited applications,” he said. “Virtual reality is going to impact every single industry.”

¿Cómo ayudará la realidad virtual a las personas mayores?

En una frase atribuida al filósofo español Miguel de Unamuno, se afirmaba que un hombre nunca es demasiado viejo para recomenzar su vida y que debemos procurar que “lo fue no le impida ser lo que es o lo que será”. Palabras inspiradoras para afrontar una etapa vital a la que todos llegaremos y sobre la que existen más temores que esperanzas. La vejez es la gran olvidada de la cultura occidental: se la retrasa, se la niega o se la oculta, pero rara vez se le presta la atención debida. Una actitud paradójica si se tiene en cuenta que un estudio del Parlamento Europeo pronostica que en 2050 habrá el doble de población en la UE en edad de jubilación que menores de 15 años. Negar la ancianidad es, en última instancia, negarnos a nosotros mismos.

Sonya Kim, fundadora de One Caring Team, sabe bien cuáles son las dificultades a las que los ancianos se enfrentan a diario, puesto que la avalan los más de 40.000 pacientes a los que ha atendido en sus años de experiencia. En muchos de estos casos, el mayor problema de los ancianos atendidos era el aislamiento. Diversos estudios han demostrado que la soledad lleva asociados trastornos de ansiedad y depresión, incluso en personas que no han sufrido estos problemas durante su juventud y madurez; un cuadro clínico que puede conducir incluso a una muerte prematura.

Esta realidad fue la que llevó a la doctora Kim a plantearse el reto de conseguir comunicarse con estos ancianos para conocer sus inquietudes y temores, rompiendo así la barrera de la incomunicación. Y la solución que encontró fue aplicar técnicas de realidad virtual en el tratamiento. Los resultados fueron mucho más eficaces de lo esperado. Lejos de amilanarse ante un mundo desconocido para ellos, el de las nuevas tecnologías, los paciente se mostraron animados y mejoraron sus condiciones más rápidamente que con otras terapias. La realidad virtual, además de proporcionar nuevas posibilidades de comunicación al terapeuta, también le ayuda a recabar datos acerca del estado físico de su paciente. “A través de nuestro programa -afirma Sonya Kim- podemos obtener información importante acerca de sus rutinas como, por ejemplo, saber cuántos vasos de agua han bebido ese día para asegurarnos de que mantienen el nivel adecuado de hidratación. De esta forma podemos ofrecerles recomendaciones que deben seguir para mantenerse saludables”.

Kim está segura de que las nuevas tecnologías jugarán un papel esencial en el cuidado y tratamiento de la vejez en los próximos años: “nuestras experiencias nos demuestran que los ancianos se muestran felices por descubrir un mundo nuevo que les permite descansar de la realidad que les rodea”. Y, lo más importante, evita que la soledad vuelva a sumirles en una espera depresiva.

Women's Leadership Conference

Theo Schwabacher's 5th annual Women's Intelligence Trust (W.I.T.) conference will be held on Thursday, April 30th at the St. Francis Yacht Club. We will begin at 8:30am and have Dr. Christine Carter, author of "The Sweet Spot," as our breakfast keynote speaker. Breakout sessions will include the following:

Finance Room

  • A World of Opportunities
  • Social Security: Spouses, Widows and Divorcees
  • Retirement Planning
  • Global Fixed Income
  • The Five W's of Healthcare

Innovation Room

  • Consumer Investing Trends
  • Social Media
  • Salesforce: Finding Your Way Through The Cloud
  • The Future of Go Pro
  • Bloodline of America: Oil and Gas
  • Women's Health
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Alzheimer's
  • Female Sexual Health
  • Brain Imaging
  • One Caring Team

will also feature Erica Orange, a leading Futurist Consultant from Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc, as ourkeynote speaker and end the afternoon with a cocktail reception featuring women winemakers.

look forward to seeing you April 30th!

Preventive Emotional Care for Older Adults conference, Honolulu, Hawaii

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

APRIL 2, 2015 - KINDNESS PROGRAM FOR SOCIALLY ISOLATED SENIORS ROLLS out in Hawai’i. The Kindness Program is part of a new and expanding social venture called One Caring Team. This enterprise, created by Dr. Sonya Kim, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur as well as a board-certified Emergency Physician with over 20 years of experience in healthcare, responds directly to the needs of an often underserved, and sometimes neglected segment of society. Through her medical house calls, Dr. Kim discovered a link between social isolation and a decrease in the quality of life in aging adults. One Caring Team’s mission is to address this condition and reduce health care costs associated with this demographic and, more importantly, rejuvenate our kupuna’s hope for regular meaningful connections with others who care.

Dr. Kim is not new to Hawai’i. She began her career in medicine on the island of Kaua’i, where she learned the old ways of caring for patients who could not afford healthcare. She then moved to O’ahu and worked at the Kuakini Medical Center as a locum tenens ER physician. During her career, Dr. Kim has taken care of over 40,000+ patients who have suffered from acute and chronic diseases, and as a result, has recognized a strong link between social isolation and deteriorating health. In studies, social isolation has been proven to lead to chronic depression and anxiety in seniors.

Dr. Kim is coming to Hawai’i and will give a Preventive Emotional Care Conference, on Thursday, April 23RD from 10:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. at the Christ Centered Community Church located above California Pizza Kitchen in Kahala Mall. Dr. Kim will introduce her Kindness Program for kupuna as well as address the urgent issues affecting our aging population at home. She will share her years of knowledge, expertise and her proven preventive wellness methods that will have an overall far reaching impact toward alleviating chronic depression and improving the well-being of our kupuna. It is proven that those who suffer in silence from isolation are at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s dementia and chronic depression, often leading to a shorter life expectancy.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shari Floyd Berinobis, (808) 979-5005