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Immersive Virtual Reality as a Tool to Improve Police Safety in Adolescents and Adults with ASD

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R42MH115539-01
Agency Tracking Number: R42MH115539
Amount: $289,013.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 103
Solicitation Number: PA16-302
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-09-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-08-31
Small Business Information
Washington, DC 20015-1728
United States
DUNS: 080219131
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (240) 235-1846
Business Contact
Phone: (240) 235-1846
Research Institution
3501 Civic Center Boulevard, Suite 2200
United States

 Domestic nonprofit research organization

Floreo Technology proposes to develop the Police Safety Module PSM an innovative immersive mobile
virtual reality VR application designed to train police safety in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum
disorder ASD ASD has been increasing in prevalence over recent years While much attention has been
paid to the causes and early diagnosis of ASD there remains a clear need for effective interventions for the
core symptoms of autism ASD is a lifelong disorder and adolescents and adults with ASD experience
significant challenges in functional living skills Safe community engagement such as interaction with law
enforcement officers represents an area of concern for adolescents and young adults with ASD continuing to
struggle with social communication skills Interventions commonly used for older individuals with ASD such as
Social StoriesTM and video modeling have not been studied specifically for efficacy in teaching police safety
skills Recent advances in VR technology have created an opportunity to explore new intervention strategies
for individuals with ASD but modern VR technology such as head mounted displays and mobile applications
have to date not been adequately investigated for feasibility or effectiveness in this population Floreo has
developed a unique product that pairs the user and a supervising therapist in an immersive virtual
environment The project team will conduct initial pilot studies on the usability and feasibility of a module
dedicated to training police safety skills in adolescents and adults with ASD in an immersive virtual
environment and will then proceed to perform additional research and development on efficacy and
effectiveness of the PSM in improving police safety skills The goal of this project is to develop an effective mobile virtual reality intervention to train police safety skills in
adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder Autism spectrum disorder has been increasing in
prevalence and represents a public health challenge due to limitations of current treatments and systems of
support There is a lack of easily disseminated social and community skills interventions This area of need
offers an opportunity for innovative mobile virtual reality technology that can be developed to address a variety
of social and behavioral needs

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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