Processing trauma with VR glasses: Moovd makes it happen

9 augustus 2021 16:25

Mental healthcare has long waiting lists and inefficient yet intensive treatment programs with limited success. Brothers Sander and Menno Kamphuis thought: this has to change. Through their company, Moovd, they develop therapies involving VR technology for people with a mild intellectual disability, PTSD, anxiety or a phobia.

Moovd

Sander Kamphuis: "The brain is perhaps the most complex thing that humans possess. Due to its complexity, it almost goes without saying that it often requires care: sometimes preventive, and often curative." If it were up to Moovd, everyone would have easy access to high-quality mental healthcare. Digital and technical innovations are becoming an increasingly critical success factor.

He came up with the idea behind Moovd back when he was studying. Sander saw the VR technology at a trade fair and knew straight away that he wanted to develop something himself. He launched Moovd with this brother, Menno. "You can really make a difference with VR."

Netflix therapy

Moovd offers therapies that expose people to situations that trigger their trauma, anxiety or phobia through VR technology and psychological support. Sander: "We have developed a kind of Netflix platform: an image library with 26 different themes. Through the videos, people can relive situations in a trusted environment."

Global impact

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the brothers have had a successful year. "Just when we wanted to launch our product on the market, treatment programs stopped," says Sander. "We decided to offer our software with VR glasses to mental health institutions for free, so they could test it out. They were extremely enthusiastic and gave us lots of valuable feedback so we could validate our product."

This year, Moovd received a Rabo Innovation Loan, allowing them to develop and upscale. They recently won the National Innovation Prize 2021 as well. The comments from the panel of experts was: "Promising, with international potential." And do the brothers have international ambitions? "With Moovd, we want to make a global impact by helping more and more people. Our ambition is to make high-quality mental healthcare available in countries where it is unavailable, such as developing countries and conflict zones."

Rabo Innovation Loan

Rabobank Start- & scale-up banker Herbert Beldhuis: “Other banks normally don’t offer help to startups in this phase. Rabobank does. With impact and good conditions. It’s our goal to accelerate the innovation power in the Nerherlands in the areas of sustainability, digitalization and vitality. This stems from our societal and cooperative belief to grow a better world together. We are happy to help Moovd. They offer affordable care for vulnerable people that improves the quality of life. This really fits well with our vision on healthcare and the goals of our Rabo Innovation Loan.”