Innovators help cancer sufferers with depression by introducing them to stunning virtual reality worlds

The cancer patients are taken into a number of different fantasy worlds where they can feel relaxed and overcome fears and anxieties. Prosoma

A group of Polish innovators is looking to use revolutionary VR technology to help cancer patients suffering from depression.

With a 1.2mln PLN investment from Gdańsk-based Black Pearls VC, the company Prosoma will develop methods combining virtual reality and behavioral therapy.

Founded in Wrocław by Ema Kufel and Marek Ostrowski, Prosoma is working on creating fantasy worlds in which the cancer patients can immerse themselves to lower the levels of stress and fear. 

In one of the VR experiences called The Hut & Forest Walkthrough Relaxation Exercise, the patients find themselves in a cosy, fireside cabin with comfy chairs. Prosoma

They are also researching the links between psychotherapy and countering cancer.

Ema Kufel, Prosoma’s CEO said in an official statement: “Behavioral psychotherapy is currently the most effective and the most common form of psychological support for oncological patients. 

Another experience sees patients gazing at the wonders of outerspace. Prosoma

“What we add, is an interactive, virtual space to work with the patient. We are deeply convinced that in this way we will contribute to increasing the effectiveness of cancer therapies and improving the quality of life of patients.”

By cooperating with a team of international experts, psychologists and oncologists, they are hoping to better answer the needs of cancer patients and improve the immune system’s functioning at the same time.

The Prosoma team from L-R: Founders Ema Kufel and Marek Ostrowski with Marta Porebiak and Wojciech Tubek. Prosoma

One of the doctors, Professor Afaf Girgis from the University of New South Wales in Australia, explained: “The use of digital technologies in therapy gives patients the opportunity to address their psychological needs in the comfort of their own home, at a time that suits them best. 

CEO Ema Kufel said that although behavioral psychotherapy is the most common form of psychological support for cancer patients, Prosoma’s VR creation is an interactive, virtual space to work with the patient. We are deeply convinced that in this way we will contribute to increasing the effectiveness of cancer therapies and improving the quality of life of patients.Prosoma

“Despite advances in oncological treatment, many patients still experience significant stress. We need to help patients before the lack of psychological care and increasing stress levels lead to a crisis stage, because it can negatively affect their overall recovery and pharmacological treatment.”

Black Pearls VC, the main investor, allocated 280 thousand euros for the project, from the LQT Fund II, created as part of the National Center for Research and Development BRIdge Alfa program.