Caring Technologies Inc. announced today that the United States Air Force (USAF) has initiated a project to assess Behavior Imaging®, the company’s video-based telemedicine application, to help treat the children of military families who have autism. This is the second project with the USAF that incorporates the application of Behavior Imaging® to treat military service members and their families who have behavioral health disabilities. The USAF is also currently using Behavior Imaging® to improve the supervision of therapists who are using virtual reality technology to treat military service members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It could potentially be used to help service members afflicted with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Behavior Imaging® applies a proprietary video technology to capture real-time behaviors as they occur in their natural environment, which improves the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment. In the same way that x-rays and MRIs are indispensable tools to visualize physical conditions of the body, Behavior Imaging® provides first-hand, contextual information for better diagnosis and treatment of behavioral disorders. The technology also facilitates next-minute consultation by behavior and mental health specialists anywhere in the world, and allows for secure online sharing, annotation and storage of the video via online health record technology.
“In many cases, soldiers and their families are located on remote military bases that don’t provide easy access to the mental health specialists they need,” noted U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tim Lacy, M.D. “With about one in 143 children from military families being diagnosed with autism, we believe Behavior Imaging® can help us to treat those behaviors more effectively by capturing them on video and providing patients with access to remote care they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”
The USAF is currently deploying Caring Technologies’ Behavior Imaging® at five clinical sites around the country to provide autistic children of service members with access to specialists remotely. One site involves the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Mountain Home, Idaho, which is now able to access services for children provided by The Intermountain Center for Autism and Child Development (ICACD) in Meridian, Idaho, located more than an hour from the base. According to Dr. Tyler Whitney, Clinical Director of ICACD, “As a behavioral healthcare provider, Behavior Imaging® can benefit military families by providing care that more effectively meets their needs and was otherwise unavailable at their location. Conversely, the technology can benefit Autism Centers like ICACD by greatly reducing the patient flow in the clinic, allowing more patients to be seen overall while providing a more cost effective use of time and resources."
Behavior Imaging® Also Combined With Virtual Reality Technology
The U.S. Air Force is also using Behavior Imaging® to improve supervision of treatment for PTSD at eight clinical sites around the country and one in Germany by coupling it with a virtual reality technology from Atlanta-based Virtually Better, Inc. (VBI). That company’s virtual reality technology, called Virtual Iraq, allows soldiers to re-experience traumatic service-related events in the safety of a controlled environment and under the supervision of a mental health professional. Behavior Imaging® captures these virtual reality sessions on video, which provides mental health clinicians with valuable insights for treatment. Additionally, Behavior Imaging allows them to securely share, annotate, store, organize the videos as electronic medical records to facilitate onsite and remote treatment, as well as long-term care.
“With Behavior Imaging®, our virtual reality treatment providers can safely share their session videos and receive more efficient consultation from the leading experts in mental health, many of whom are not located in close proximity to the soldiers who need the treatment,” noted Dr. Josh Spitalnick, Director of Research and Clinical Services of VBI. “As clinicians become more specialized and highly trained, it is the patients who ultimately benefit from increased access to the most current and evidence-based treatment offerings.”
Behavior Imaging® for PTSD, TBI and other Behavior Disorders
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 26 percent of the American population suffers from diagnosable mental disorders in any given year. Additionally, as service members return home from combat, incidents of PTSD and TBI are on the rise. Meeting the increased demand for services is an enormous challenge on existing military care providers to deliver mental and behavioral health services to active duty personnel and veterans across the country. “With an increasing need for mental and behavioral health services for PTSD, TBI autism and other mental health disorders, technologies such as Behavior Imaging® can really help us ensure that service members and their families are getting the treatment they deserve,” noted U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tim Lacy, M.D.
Caring Technologies, Inc. (caringtechnologies.com) is a privately owned telehealth company dedicated to advancing Behavior Imaging® technology as a means of more effectively assessing, treating, and training professionals working with autism, brain disorders, PTSD, and other behavioral conditions.
Virtually Better, Inc. located in Decatur, Georgia, (virtuallybetter.com) is known worldwide as an innovator in the creation of evidence-based virtual reality environments for the health care industry, with an emphasis on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders.