Monthly Archives: June 2016

Virtual Reality Aimed At The Elderly Finds New Fans

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“Virginia Anderlini (above) was the first private client to try out Dr. Sonya Kim’s new virtual reality program for the elderly, and says she’s eager to see more.

“There are over 100 clinical research papers that are already published that show proven positive clinical outcomes using VR in managing chronic pain, anxiety and depression,” Kim says. “And in dementia patients, all those three elements are very common.”

In addition to having private clients, Kim conducts group therapy sessions at Bay Area assisted-living centers, where a dozen or so people take turns with the goggles.”

Image and text by Kara Platoni at KQED Public Media

Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/06/29/483790504/virtual-reality-aimed-at-the-elderly-finds-new-fans

Virtual Reality Shows Promise for Stroke Recovery (incl. video)

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“New therapeutic devices for stroke recovery, made possible by advances in hardware and software, are transforming the typically low-tech world of stroke rehabilitation.

Recovering from a stroke can be an arduous process. A device developed by researchers at NYU’s Rusk Rehabilitation is one of many new technologies that aim to keep patients engaged and motivated.

Though the tools are still in the early stages, doctors say that they can be more motivating and engaging for patients than current standard therapies, and that they hold promise for stroke survivors who are too injured for traditional therapy.”

Photo/Video: Denise Blostein at The Wall Street Journal

Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/high-tech-tools-show-promise-for-stroke-recovery-1466993040

Child’s play: Using virtual reality to advance physical therapy (incl. video)

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“Northeastern University’s Danielle Levac develops video games to make phys­ical therapy more fun, moti­vating, and rewarding for patients—especially for chil­dren with move­ment impair­ments, such as those with cere­bral palsy.

Levac, pro­fessor of phys­ical therapy in the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, invited a group of fifth-​​grade stu­dents from Boston’s Ellis Mendell Ele­men­tary School to visit her lab last week.

The young stu­dents sat in the Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Games and Vir­tual Reality Lab­o­ra­tory illu­mi­nated by floor-​​to-​​ceiling screens with vir­tual worlds on them, and learned about what phys­ical ther­a­pists do and how research can ben­efit their patients.”

Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University

By Casey Bayer at Northeastern University News

Read more: http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2016/06/childs-play-using-virtual-reality-to-advance-physical-therapy/

Pain Is Not a Game, But VR Games May Help With America’s Opioid Addiction

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“America has a drug problem, an ongoing opiate habit we just can’t shake. Now, to exorcise this demon, researchers are attempting to use virtual reality to treat pain—in hopes that the technique will prove as effective as it is outlandish.

Now we find ourselves in the throes of a deadly epidemic and, while doctors have begun prescribing opiates more sparingly, we still don’t have many more tools for effective pain treatment than we had in the ’80s.

A new hope may be on the horizon, though, in an unlikely guise: virtual reality.”

Image: Maureen Simmonds.

Written by BENJAMIN PERRY at Motherboard Vice

Read more: http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/play-the-pain-away