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Apple has explored using its Vision Pro headset to diagnose and treat mental health problems, among other health monitoring capabilities, The Information's Wayne Ma reports.

Vision-Pro-Person.jpg

Citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter, Ma explains that Apple has experimented with using the Vision Pro to track a user's facial expressions to detect depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Specifically, eye-tracking, pupil dilation, and external cameras can measure a person's "affect," a psychological term that refers to how an individual expresses emotions.

A so-called "flat affect," otherwise known as an emotionless facial expression, can be a sign of specific mental health difficulties. Upon detection of such a problem, the Vision Pro would then display relevant images and play sounds that could improve the wearer's mental state. Virtual reality headsets have already been used by researchers to diagnose and treat phobias and PTSD by safely exposing patients to their fears.

Apple has also apparently discussed using the Vision Pro's infrared eye tracking-cameras to detect swelling in the blood vessels of the eyes to spot an early sign of heart failure. The company explored using the headset to detect weight changes and evaluate a user's movement over time, using this data to screen for health issues such as Parkinson's disease, but the feature had a major setback when Apple removed the full body-tracking capabilities from the Vision Pro due to unreliability.

Features that claim to diagnose or treat health issues would need to undergo clinical studies and receive approval from health regulators before being released to the public, but some Apple employees are apparently concerned about the legal liability of making more health-related claims, which could limit the scope of the features. Other employees are said to be skeptical that the Vision Pro will be as effective as other methods of treatment, such as medicine.

Teams and significant individuals inside Apple are said to have extensively discussed or explored health, wellness, and fitness features for the Vision Pro, including Mike Rockwell, the head of Apple's Vision Products Group. The company has reportedly hired health experts to explore features for the device. The Information was unable to learn whether mental health features will arrive on the first-generation Vision Pro headset, or if it will be reserved for future models. The sources added that such features may never launch at all, but the company continues to brainstorm health-related uses for the headset.

Ma added that Apple has also explored the mental health detection capabilities of other devices such as the iPhone, using the front-facing camera to track a user's mood, as well as monitor app usage and typed words to detect early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Article Link: Report: Apple Continues to Explore Health Capabilities of Vision Pro
 
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siddavis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2009
842
2,791
In all seriousness, this could be great if they can pull it off. My Apple Watch first warned me of a heart condition that I had no idea I had. Now I am being treated/monitored by a cardiologist.

In joking, nothing says health like sitting on a couch with two high resolution TVs strapped to your face turning you into a vegetable.
 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2015
1,411
2,884
Still a scuba mask, or Sega genesis game controller stuck to someones face. No thanks just yet...

I love the functionality but the design.... Im sure they will do great on future revisions. Maybe these added features will be worth it... but lets se what comes.

One thing I know for sure.. wearing that will cause you mental health issues... the number of people laughing at you! Laughing at you for the look, and the fact you spent that much money on it too.

It should come with a warning... wearing this may result in extreme embarrassment.
 
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Rychiar

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2006
2,331
5,194
Waterbury, CT
In all seriousness, this could be great if they can pull it off. My Apple Watch first warned me of a heart condition that I had no idea I had. Now I am being treated/monitored by a cardiologist.

In joking, nothing says health like sitting on a couch with two high resolution TVs strapped to your face turning you into a vegetable.
I get more cardio than ever with my Quest 2 currently. It makes working out at home an entertaining possibility. Almost never sit when im using it too.
 

CarpalMac

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2012
1,615
3,983
UK
Still a scuba mask, or Sega genesis game controller stuck to someones face. No thanks just yet...

I love the functionality but the design.... Im sure they will do great on future revisions. Maybe these added features will be worth it... but lets se what comes.

One thing I know for sure.. wearing that will cause you mental health issues... the number of people laughing at you! Laughing at you for the look, and the fact you spent that much money on it too.

It should come with a warning... wearing this may result in extreme embarrassment.
There are good reasons why 3DTV failed. A large part of the population just won't want to have stuff like this strapped to their face, doubly so with prescription glasses on underneath.
 

miric

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2016
213
236
I think we're doomed to see this ma'am and another one for the next couple of years. 😏
 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2015
1,411
2,884
There are good reasons why 3DTV failed. People just don't want to have stuff like this strapped to their face, doubly so with prescription glasses on underneath.
I think my first use case would only be as a personal movie screen... but the weight and comfort of it would be critical. Any other features would be added bonuses...

I hope they make an SE version! :)
 

davidh2k

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2012
20
43
Still a scuba mask, or Sega genesis game controller stuck to someones face. No thanks just yet...

I love the functionality but the design.... Im sure they will do great on future revisions. Maybe these added features will be worth it... but lets se what comes.

One thing I know for sure.. wearing that will cause you mental health issues... the number of people laughing at you! Laughing at you for the look, and the fact you spent that much money on it too.

It should come with a warning... wearing this may result in extreme embarrassment.
So the same people said about the airpods when they were first anounced? How did that turn out?
 
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victorvictoria

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2023
349
417
"Apple has explored using its Vision Pro headset to diagnose and treat mental health problems, among other health monitoring capabilities…"

That is the single most ironic statement I've ever read in reference to entertainment technology. Using the product to mitigate the damage the product causes. Genius!
 

raythompsontn

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2023
481
597
Tennessee
Does Apple really think that people with mental health issues are going to spend $3K+ on a headset. Well, just maybe, spending $3K+ on a headset that gives a person nausea is a sign of mental health issues.
 

klasma

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2017
4,751
12,716
Does Apple really think that people with mental health issues are going to spend $3K+ on a headset. Well, just maybe, spending $3K+ on a headset that gives a person nausea is a sign of mental health issues.
Probably the real reason for the high price. It makes detection of mental health issues so much easier! ;)
 

X38

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2007
539
562
“…Apple removed the full body-tracking capabilities from the Vision Pro due to unreliability.”

I didn’t realize that was even a possibility. Hopefully it comes back someday.
I’ve been hoping there would be a way to integrate a smart treadmill with VisionPro to simulate locomotion in VR, but if the headset itself can do full body tracking, presumably the physical treadmill could be completely passive and therefore dramatically cheaper, and also not require integration of an external device.
 

twocents

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2016
423
2,054
California, USA
As someone with PTSD, I’m excited about where the potential for this kind of technology is headed. Just look at how far we have come with accessibility settings.
 
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