Virtual reality meets artificial intelligence: The emergence of advanced digital therapeutics and digital biomarkers

Giuseppe Riva, Brenda K. Wiederhold, Daniele Di Lernia, Alice Chirico, Eleonora Francesca Maria Riva, Fabrizia Mantovani, Pietro Cipresso, Andrea Gaggioli

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

5 Citazioni (Scopus)


In the past 25 years, researchers have discovered that Virtual Reality (VR) is an effective tool for mental health treatment and assessment in anxiety disorders, eating and weight disorders, and pain management with long-term effects that generalize to the real world. Moreover, VR is also an effective assessment tool with practical applications that range from social and cognitive deficits to addiction. Nevertheless, despite progress, evidence-based psychological treatments still need improvement. In this paper we suggest that the integration of VR with another emerging technology – Artificial Intelligence (AI) – will provide clinicians with two new powerful tools for improving evidence-based psychological treatments: advanced digital therapeutics and digital biomarkers. The term “Digital Therapeutics” indicates the use of digital/online health technologies to treat a medical or psychological condition. Following this definition, any VR clinical application can be defined as a form of digital therapeutics. However, the integration between VR al AI allows a critical feature for any digital therapeutic: personalization. On one side, VR allows the collection of “Digital Biomarkers”-physiological, and behavioral data that are collected by means of digital technologies and used as an indicator of biologic processes or biological responses to therapeutic interventions – that are directly connected to the brain functioning and can be altered to correct the specific dysfunctions of the predictive coding mechanisms in the individual’s brain. On the other side AI, by applying machine learning techniques to the individual's digital biomarkers, allows the optimization the individual treatment strategy facilitating the transition to a personalized, effective and engaging medicine.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)3-7
Numero di pagine5
RivistaAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • Behavioral health
  • Digital biomarkers
  • Digital therapeutics
  • Embodied medicine
  • Neuroscience
  • Virtual Reality


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