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Q&A with Bilal Awan

Q&A with Bilal Awan

Bilal Awan - CEO of PsycReality

 

About Bilal Awan, the CEO of PyscReality

Bilal Awan is a tech entrepreneur and has a startup named ‘PsycReality’. He is originally from Pakistan and has worked in Ireland for 15 years. He has always been interested in the use of technology and in improving the quality of people’s personal, family and social life by treating their Phobias and fears (Psychology based) using Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. PsycReality is an amalgamation of psychology and virtual and augmented reality. Bilal and his team have nearly 15,000 hours of research completed between a team of multiple psychologists from Brazil, Europe, Middle East and Asia. This research is amalgamated before a video is completed. 

About PyscReality

PyscReality was previously known as Aristotle VR (AVR). Bilal got an opportunity in the Balkans to see something happening that could have a promising future in the coming years. He started his research, which led to being a starting point for himself, rather than just being me too in the market. 

Initially, when Bilal moved to Ireland in 2007, he did a couple of significant projects. One of them was an upgrade of the M50 Phase2, where he managed the whole of their IT infrastructure. Within two months, they grew to more than 200 users from only 6 users on day 1. Bilal started his own business in 2012 in technology and recently he amalgamated his company with another large IT company. He looked into collaboration because he believes one plus one is always 11 rather than two. Bilal became partners with a cloud technology firm in the Balkans and completed a project with the Ministry of the Interior  in Bosnia and Herzegovina and worked with their police department. He also did IT security and GDPR audits, where he defined some of their strategies for their organizations on the GDPR roadmap as to how best they could integrate with the system. He was invited as a keynote speaker to the IEEE conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zagreb in Croatia and Istanbul in Turkey; the rest is history. In the last two years after the amalgamation, the team and headcounts in the IT security business (iPing IT Services) doubled up, and he kept working on PsycReality, where he built his team with industry experts.

What do they do? 

PsycReality is the combination of psychology and virtual and augmented reality. They are helping psychologists help their patients overcome their fears, phobias, and  anxiety by using immersive technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and a couple more. PsycReality is the first ever to use these technologies to advance the treatment methods for the betterment of the patients and reduce the treatment time by 50%. The most common way of treatment therapy is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), the process that helps with exposure therapy. Bilal’s friend’s sister had a problem with heights. She got sick, pale and even started sweating and throwing up when she was at a high seating stand in a concert at Croke Park, Dublin. Such a situation is challenging to replicate in a clinic but in a controlled environment it could be replicated through exposure therapy.  When you put on the goggles VR headset, you are in the scenario and you are in the situation. You are at a point where your body will react because your brain accepts that scenario. PsycReality uses actual, personal videos where a patient can move up, down, forward, backward, left and right. Initially, when a psychologist is having a session with the patient to bring up the element and the triggering point where the body and the patient will react. Exposure therapy is straight-up because your body will respond immediately after seeing what is in front of you.

The Philosophy behind the PsycRealtiy 

The brain is an element of a human organ that can be taught how a person wants to reach certain situations. These therapy sessions, exposures, and videos train the brain to completely accept otherwise what they fear. Bilal’s friend’s son had a seizure at 18 days only and had damage done on the right side of the body. Through physiotherapy, they asked him to move his right hand more as a set exercise. My friend and his wife forced him to use his right hand instead of his left hand. Eventually, the brain starts reacting, and he starts raising his right hand for handshakes, to lift a plate or a spoon or anything. This tells us that exposure and practice can tell your mind how and what to do in certain scenarios. PyscReality has over 15,000 hours of research completed in different domains of psychology and psychiatry. These triggering points, where some people are afraid of a dog, we know it is just a dog but is psychological. When you define it further some people are scared of big dogs, smaller dogs, hairy dogs, white dogs, black dogs, etc. Not everyone coming to a psychologist knows what exactly they are afraid of. They come in with anxiety, like going out in public. They do not feel like going out as it makes them anxious because there are many people around. This is a phobia that needs to be treated. Over 50% of patients are unaware of specific phobias they suffer. 

Using Biofeedback technology

PsycReality uses biofeedback to measure a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety level. The biofeedback indicates the person being anxious, as their heart rate will go up, and they start shaking or sweating. The signs read by biofeedback are stored in our patient management system, and the method based AI (Artificial Intelligence) makes the decision. Once the heart level hits that level, we bring it down through the system. Bilal has made a portion of its research available to other researchers through its educational institutes. Furthermore, they are arranging researchers and psychologists working in their team to go and deliver lectures to new psychology students about how technology is being used in psychology. People living in Mexico will react differently to certain situations than people living in Ireland. People in the Middle East will respond to it differently, and there will be different elements when we go further into Asia. This tells us that one solution cannot fit all as of yet. PsycReality is partnering with institutes worldwide to do a comparative study for the same element and combining those studies to build one solution. 

PsycReality is trying to help humanity. Their site psycreality.com is looking to partner with psychological associations in different parts of the world. PsycReality talks with Brazilian society and signs the MOU agreement with the Middle East Psychological Association for clinical research for the region. Come and join PsycReality today! 

Conclusion 

Through this podcast, we learned how psychology and virtual reality could be combined to help people overcome their fears, phobias, and anxiety. PsycReality is the first to use these technologies to improve treatment methods in psychology for the betterment of patients and to reduce treatment time by up to 50%. Bilal explained how the brain could be trained to accept the opposite of what it is accustomed to through exposures, therapy sessions, and videos. Using PyscReality, a person can walk around. PyscReality uses biofeedback technology to monitor patients' heart rate and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems to determine how intense or relaxed a scenario should be tailored to the patients' needs. Additionally, Bilal makes part of its research available to other researchers through its educational institutes. Check out PsycReality today at psycreality.com.

 

Bilal Awan Social Media handles 
LinkedIn - Twitter - Instagram

PyscReality Social Media handles 
Website - LinkedIn - Twitter


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