Virtual reality helps with rehabilitation

Virtual reality will increase rehabilitation programs for patients with conditions such as stroke, dystonia and sports injuries.

This is the claim of PRIME-VR2, a two-year Horizon 2020 project that aims to reduce patient rehabilitation times by up to 30% with video game-style technology.

The technology used in the project, which includes academic and engineering experts from the University of Strathclyde and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), aims to improve the speed of rehabilitation and completion rates by making it more stimulating. It is expected to complement traditional rehabilitation methods, while facilitating physical demands on occupational and physical therapists.

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Structured as a level-based system where patients must complete online games to advance, the digital platform allows medical staff to track patients ’progress using game data and provide virtually ongoing support.

According to Strathclyde, the technology will help patients develop upper body motor skills to improve the movement of their arms, wrists, hands and fingers and provide personalized activities based on their cognitive and physical disabilities. In use, people with dystonic neurological movement disorder can practice pouring a glass of water into the virtual world without spilling a drop of reality.

Andrew Wodehouse, Professor in the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management at Strathclyde University and founder of the European Consortium, said: “The result of this project will make the long recovery process more attractive while allowing registration patient performance. accurately, allowing for specific and measurable targets to accelerate rehabilitation time. ”

Kareema Hilton, NMIS manufacturing engineer, with flexible design elements created through additive manufacturing (Image: Strathclyde University / NMIS)

Strathclyde University and NMIS support industry partners, Loud1Design with the development of the virtual program and a custom video game controller prototype, which will be tailored through additive manufacturing for each patient.

“We all look forward to the completion of the project as it will provide a significant milestone for interactive technology in improving physical health and performance,” Wodehouse added.

Coordinated by the University of Pisa, the project includes academic partners such as the universities of Malta and Oulu, University College London and partners from the world of technology and gaming industry.

Saint James Hospital, Kinisiforo and the NICOMED Rehabilitation Center and the Global Disability Innovation Hub provide patient requirements and will monitor progress when prototypes are completed.

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