Virtual reality has all kinds of uses, such as for gaming, entertainment, and can also be used to treat phobias. Now it seems that over in China, a new pilot program has been launched where drug rehab centers are testing out how using VR could potentially be used to gauge how well a patient’s drug rehab program is going.

This works by placing the patient into a scenario and attaching a VR headset to their heads and sensors to their hands. The patient’s caregivers then monitor their reaction to the scenes and based on that, they can ascertain as to whether or not the current treatment that the patient is on is working, and whether or not they are still addicted to drugs.

The technology also uses eyeball tracking to determine whether or not the patient’s gaze is fixed onto certain images. Given that sometimes patients lie about the degree of their addiction to speed up the drug rehab process so that they can be released from the program, this method makes it a little harder to game the system.

At the moment this is currently a pilot program and it is unclear as to how effective it is as more testing will be needed, but it is an interesting approach nonetheless.

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