During the pandemic, almost half of all adults reported symptoms of anxiety and depression – and it’s getting worse. Traditional methods in healthcare are failing to cope, but new opportunities are emerging thanks to VR technology and a burgeoning psychedelic movement.
Rewriting the story within
EDIT is a revolutionary medically adaptive approach combining an FDA-approved, physician-prescribed, at-home ketamine program with integrated VR group therapy. TUX was asked to embark on EDIT’s nascent journey in two dimensions: developing IRL visual branding and identity and constructing EDIT’s first VR space for therapy where patients can heal trauma and build a new inner narrative. Tell me more
It’s been a tough few years for everyone. With rates of anxiety and depression already rising, the pandemic only worsened collective trauma for the 41% of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. These stresses, linked with an increasingly digitized and isolating lifestyle, have led many on a desperate search for relief and greater personal meaning.
Evolving attitudes and curiosity surrounding the benefits of psychoactive and psychedelic treatments have opened the floodgates for waves of people seeking to access something deeper within and confront mental health issues at their root. Meanwhile, telehealth was already an emerging market, with the VR healthcare market expected to reach $3.9B by 2027 as patients and healthcare providers find advantages to the convenience of remote treatments and therapies.
That’s why when two EDIT founders brought the foundations of a nascent healthcare startup into the TUX offices and said they wanted our help to launch a revolutionary medically adaptive approach combining psychedelics and VR therapy, we immediately hit start.
EDIT was conceived as a revolutionary medically adaptive approach combining an FDA-approved, physician-prescribed, at-home ketamine program with integrated VR group therapy.
We realized that the brand needed to exist in two dimensions: (1) in IRL with visual branding and identity: and (2) virtually in a VR space designed for therapy where patients can heal trauma and build a new inner narrative.
But we also realized that we needed to go beyond brand- and world-building, and define a category where EDIT arrived first.
There were already hordes rushing separately into the psychedelic and telehealth categories, so EDIT decided the convergence of these two spaces, in an unexplored market space, was where it wanted to live.
We began with naming: ketamine’s enormous potential lies in its ability to block the NMDA receptor to grow and enhance neuroplasticity. Translation? Ketamine can reset and open the mind to new connections, allowing us to process trauma to rewrite our inner narrative. In other words, EDIT is granting us control over changing how our mind works.
Branding quickly became world-building, with an identity that needed to consider VR worlds beyond the realms of a conventional visual language. Our creative team needed to envision something to look at, but also something to be in. A customizable VR space was designed, giving patients the ideal setting to tune into therapy: controlling attention, focus, and comfort levels through environment, colour, light, and sound.
The experience was contained in a website portal, which welcomes patients to every EDIT therapy session, empowering them to define a new personal meaning as they travel on their mental health journey.
The branding, experience, design, and pitch deck has helped propel EDIT through its soft launch phase and into a subsequently successful round of funding. Potential investors were able to experience immersion in the therapeutic space first-hand, and with already eager investment interest, EDIT’s functioning VR experience during this phase put them on the path to becoming a category-defining pioneer.
By allowing patients to control the lighting, sounds, time of day, and VR environment, they are empowered with the ability to navigate their mental health journey in a personal way that’s best suited to their emotional state, past trauma, and individual goals.
Fully customizable and reactive avatars were designed with consideration for anonymity, communication, inclusivity, accessibility, and functionality. They are the conduit through which patients experience the sense of belonging and gain access to greater perspectives and support, which make VR group therapy so effective.
René Charles Arseneau
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