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Quantifying Your Mindfulness: VR For Health?

Being able to escape from your reality and block out distractions is a common goal of meditation. Slipping into a state where you forget what's around you and starting to reflect inwardly is a result of this practice. And now, VR is starting to take steps into helping you get there even quicker, and delivering quantitative data to boot.

What this health company is doing with the technology is innovation in line with companies like Pact, the health insurance provider that monitors your health data and lowers your premiums when you go to the gym. It's marrying technology with existing systems and empowering users for win-win outcomes.

Their subscription platform allows you to sink away into an exotic VR landscape for a guided meditation. The clever part is that it also taps into your wearables to monitor your heart rate while meditating, graphing the data, and giving you long-term insights such as your average sleep on days you meditated versus days you didn't.

There’s an increasing number of apps and services focusing on the mindfulness space - the likes of Headspace, Calm and Simple Habit. Even Apple has a relaxation app for its Watch, called Breathe. In our own backyard similarly in the realm of realtime health-tech, we have the likes of Prometheus, a Goat Ventures' project currently under development by Rush Digital.

So as we slip into a more immersive way of achieving mindfulness and measuring our health, a question remains. How much can I really relax with those bright VR screens shining straight into my eyes?

U.S. digital health company Provata Health is one of several companies hoping to harness the technology’s power as an escapist medium by using it as a backdrop for guided meditations — and has just launched a VR iOS app. The idea being you slip on a mobile VR headset and use the app to experience a guided meditation within a 360-degree calming visual environment, such as sitting on a beach or next to a waterfall. (Although Provata’s app can also be used for guided meditations without needing to put on an iPhone-compatible VR headset — just with the same peaceful landscape to swipe around onscreen.)

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