Virtual Reality To Replace Physical Therapy Rehab? It Could Happen
Virtual reality may, in the not too distant future, be used as often as physical therapy rehabilitation. Right now, it is already successfully used in some venues.
Researchers have long seen the potential of virtual reality in rehabilitating patients with movement disorders. But do treatments using virtual reality have advantages over traditional physical therapy?
Danielle Levac at Northeastern University’s ReGame laboratory is researching and testing that question.
Levac’s work focuses on children with cerebral palsy and other movement disorders, and to measure any success, she first must come up with a baseline. Watch this video:
Virtual Reality: Can It Help Senior’s Rehab?
Seniors recovering from various forms of surgery or stroke need to relearn how to use their limbs again. Physical rehabilitation, a hallmark therapy program of The Grand HealthCare Center is key in helping seniors recover. So too, can a virtual reality program of exercises geared to senior citizens, help recovery.
The SilverFit program is designed specifically for use by older people. It is a virtual therapy system to train gross motor skills during rehabilitation sessions. The exercises are presented in games and provide direct positive feedback. This motivates the senior to push their boundaries. The exercises can accommodate to both the physical and cognitive level. A menu includes clinical protocols to help the therapist select the right exercise. The development of the protocols and exercises are based on scientific research and clinical practice.
The program uses a 3D camera that registers movements, even very small movements can be detected. The movements are linked to a game. At the end, the client can see the progress of the game and the final results on a display screen, and carries out the requested exercise.
The continuous feedback on the screen provides motivation. The game offers distraction and challenges to the user so as to achieve objectives. The games are fun and often and helps seniors rehab to a level they did not believe they could reach. This increases their self-confidence and motivates them to recover.
This video shows how the virtual reality helps seniors rehab: