Six questions about VR/XR — Skip Rizzo

Skip is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical VR at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.

1. What are the most inspiring aspects of your work in XR?
The capacity to see real change in clinical care using VR.

2. What is the most promising, exciting development now happening?
Low cost consumer VR that is promoting awareness and expanding access to powerful technology that we could only dream about 5 years ago.

3. What is the blind spot in XR, something that people seem to overlook?
You have to go beyond the “coolness” effect and actually do good research to document the value of a VR system for clinical or educational application.

4. What areas in XR have the biggest growth potential and why?
I think education will be the big winner. Everyone gets an education and the opportunities for XR systems to deliver new and compelling educational experiences are infinite!

5. Where will XR be in five to ten years from now?
XR systems will be common to the home: like a toaster, while you might not use it everyday, every home will have one.

6. Anything else you would like to share with us?
Let’s use VR to drag psychology kickin’ and screamin’ into the 21st Century!

Skip Rizzo’s presentation at VR Days Europe
Is Clinical Virtual Reality Ready for Primetime?

Excerpt presentation
Since the mid-1990s, a significant scientific literature has evolved regarding the outcomes from the use of what we now refer to as Clinical Virtual Reality (VR). This use of VR simulation technology has produced encouraging results when applied to address cognitive, psychological, motor, and functional impairments across a wide range of clinical health conditions. This presentation addresses the question, “Is Clinical VR Ready for Primetime?” After a brief description of the various forms of VR technology, I will discuss the trajectory of Clinical VR over the last 20 years and summarize the basic assets that VR offers for creating clinical applications. The discussion then addresses the question of readiness in terms of the theoretical basis for Clinical VR assets, the research to date, the pragmatic factors regarding availability, usability, and costs of Clinical VR content/systems, and the ethical issues for the safe use of VR with clinical populations. While there is still much research needed to advance the science in this area, I will make the case that Clinical VR applications will become indispensable tools in the toolbox of psychological researchers and practitioners and will only grow in relevance and popularity in the near future.

Bio Skip Rizzo
Skip Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical VR at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a Research Professor with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology. Over the last 20 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how Virtual Reality simulations can be usefully applied to human healthcare beyond what’s possible with traditional 20th Century methods. To view some videos on his work, go to:

Skip will speak at the VR Days Europe — Check out the program and don’t miss out on the tickets!