Emmanuella Michel, founder of Cognicorp + Thérapies, wants to tackle mental health issues through virtual reality. (Photo: Courtesy)
guest blog. ” Create or die As Peter Drucker said! There are many articles and books in the same direction. Innovation is really essential to survival and we hear about it constantly in the business world. For Emmanuella Michel, founder of Cognicorp + Therapies, her burning desire is to challenge the status quo and be innovative in helping people confront the difficult social realities that have guided every decision along her journey. Today, she is completing her PhD in Educational Technology at Université Laval and is in the process of fully publishing its platform, Cogni XR Health. This platform aims to help mental health professionals take advantage of immersive technologies in treating their patients experiencing psychological distress. She is also proudly one of the 12 Canadian Entrepreneurs Finalists selected by SheEO World this year!
It all started with an active participation in the community and a strong passion for development. When it came time to choose her college education, she first considered becoming a social worker, but decided to stop her choice for a degree to intervene with young people. This was the beginning of a wonderful exploration of our health and social services system. Then, two degrees and a master’s degree, plus three years of developing and coordinating various personal development programs for young women, she decided to refine her understanding of mental health issues. Often, the accompanying young women had psychological problems that did not allow their programs to have their full effect without receiving treatment. So it’s time for you to look into the question. This led to her getting a job at the Douglas Institute and she admits it was a huge shock! Fifteen years ago, mental health was still a taboo in black communities. You still don’t understand how important it is. In the years since, Emmanuella has combined her accomplishments to continue serving the community by developing several assistance programmes, each as creative as the following and always masterfully combining learning with play.
Focus on virtual reality
2018 marks the beginning of his exploration of virtual reality! They wanted to make sure they were current and find a way to turn their development programs into digital experiences. Chosen to be one of the 100 content developers around the world to participate in Oculus LaunchPad Bootcamp From Facebook, I discovered the ins and outs of virtual reality and developed an Alpha version of the Cogni XR there. How can a VR headset help mental health? In fact, very briefly, immersive technologies make it possible to simulate a world in which the person experiencing the experience is represented by an avatar. Thus, a range of situations can be recreated and are useful for exposure therapy. For example, an agoraphobia person who is followed by a psychologist can immerse themselves in different fantasy universes crowded with people in order to gradually learn to face their fear. All from the comfort of a psychiatrist’s office! It is also a proven method for treating anxiety, depression, cognitive behavioral disorders, and many more.
After going through several local and international business incubators and accelerators, Cogni XR Health now has a team of around 10 people. It is actively seeking new clients with a mission focused on well-being or improving mental health. Cogni XR Health understands that purchasing VR headsets can be very costly, and also offers, via its platform, a video conferencing service that adapts telemedicine therapies that integrate artificial intelligence to analyze facial expressions and detect the evolution of a patient’s emotions during an encounter. Emmanuella is always ready to develop new immersive experiences around luxury, as she recently did at the Conversations Noires event organized by the Montreal agency, was never average.
Beyond the versatility of her platform, it’s her passion, strong spirit, and sheer precision that impressed me. For her, there is always a way to do better, do things differently and hone her way of serving society. Based on how it works, Cogni XR Health is likely to be the first of a large series of innovative tools to transform the mental health treatment experience. To be followed closely!
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