“For most people, virtual reality’s promise of transporting us to a different world in a heartbeat is a great novelty. But for those who cannot travel freely, it’s a lifeline.
Sonya Kim, a physician in the San Francisco Bay area, has been taking virtual-reality headsets to seniors as a part of their medical treatment. Her therapy program, Aloha VR, lets seniors use the headsets to bring variety into their days, relax and provide a chance to get away to a virtual tropical locale.
High-tech and seniors may not go together in many people’s minds. But virtual reality is actually just the latest in technologies helping them.”
By Hayley Tsukayama at The Washington Post
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/11/17/this-physician-is-using-virtual-reality-to-treat-patients-with-dementia/
“Just a few years ago, virtual reality headsets were futuristic, space-age stuff.
Now, this immersive technology has transcended video games and is being used to help people as they recover from injuries, surgeries, pain and disease, and mental health disorders.
The relative accessibility of virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, which was released earlier this year, patients are now poised to receive interactive healthcare benefits.”
By Wendy Joan Biddlecombe at Hopefulheadlines.org
Read more: https://hopefulheadlines.org/2016/08/27/mind-over-matter-how-virtual-reality-is-changing-the-healthcare-game/
“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
“[In a study at] University of Illinois at Chicago a virtual reality experience transforms the user into a 74-year-old named Alfred in order to see his perspective as a medical patient.
Seven minutes in the shoes of an elderly man whose audiovisual impairments are misdiagnosed as cognitive ones — and a story that students across many disciplines have worked together to create.
Their goal was to craft an interactive, experiential product that could be used for curriculum in geriatrics — the health and care of elderly people — because of predicted growth in future U.S. aging populations and a disconnect between patients and the students or doctors who treat them.
Becoming Alfred helps users empathize with and better understand elderly patients.”
Credit: Carrie Shaw
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160518153418.htm
“Virtual reality (VR) has come a long way since the 1990s. Today we stand at a tipping point, where VR is about to disrupt so many sectors such as research, sports, the military, education, entertainment, car manufacture, and even healthcare.
According to research and consulting firm IndustryARC, augmented and virtual reality in healthcare is predicted to generate $2.54 billion globally by 2020 .”
by Philip Perry at Big Think
Read more: http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/how-virtual-reality-will-change-the-face-of-healthcare
“Those with dementia in northern England have begun test-driving [a] revolutionary rehabilitation system to help with their condition – throwing them into a futuristic world where they can fight sharks, drive high-speed cars and try downhill skiing.
A specialist brain charity in Salford has installed the contraption – which is called Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment. The CAREN device, the first of its kind to be used by the public in the UK.
The charity, BASIC, says the machine is already helping patients both physically and mentally. The aim is to test the long-term benefits. It is also being used to support stroke victims and people recovering from brain injuries.”
By Dean Kirby for The Independent
Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/dementia-sufferers-test-drive-revolutionary-rehabilitation-system-which-puts-patients-at-the-helm-of-a6946821.html
“The natural and man-made wonders of the world are now on the travel itineraries of aged care residents from Mercy Health, which is extending a new virtual lifestyle program to all of its facilities following a successful trial.
Residents are transported around the world via a new breed of virtual reality (VR) glasses that contain visual and audio content designed specifically for aged care and people with dementia.
Mercy trialled the glasses with seven residents living with dementia at Mercy Place Parkville with a six-minute helicopter ride over France, Iceland and Africa.
The virtual reality project aims to encourage discussion around reminiscence and conversation among residents and provide users with quality of life, said Karren Gooding, Mercy Health lifestyle manager.”
By Natasha Egan for Australian Ageing Agenda
Read more: http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/2015/08/31/virtual-reality-opening-up-new-possibilities-for-residents-in-aged-care/
“Virtual reality might be most closely associated with the world of gaming, but now the medical profession is taking note and using the technology to treat people with serious brain conditions.
One company has created a glove which works alongside virtual reality goggles to give a user a sense of texture and depth. The device, called Gloveone, slips on a person’s hand, and sensation and texture is created by a series of complex vibrations.
Any virtual situation can be created with their software, which can be used by doctors in a way that they see fit for treating a patient with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or autism.
The technology is also playing a role in helping people – such as those who have had a stroke – re-learn movements such as holding an item or walking.”
By Arjun Kharpal at CNBC News
Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102716762
“A new virtual reality simulation, demonstrated during the American Academy of Neurology 2015 meeting, offered physicians who treat patients with the condition a glimpse into these debilitating symptoms in an effort to raise awareness.
“It’s very important that physicians begin to understand what it’s like to have a psychotic experience like a visual hallucination, so they know what to ask and how to explore the topic with patients,” Jeffrey L. Cummings, MD, ScD, Director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, said in an interview.”
By Nicole Blazek at Neurology Advisor
Read more: http://www.neurologyadvisor.com/oculus-rift-parkinsons-psychosis-virtual-reality-simulation/article/410826/#
“Developed in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, the Virtual Dementia Experience (or VDE) is a pioneering effort in the field of ‘empathetic education.’
The Virtual Dementia Experience (VDE) simulates the effects of aging and dementia in a virtual environment, so that cognitively intact people can gain an appreciation of the issues confronting people with dementia.”
By Will Mason at Upload VR
Read more: http://www.uploadvr.com/award-winning-virtual-dementia-experience-aims-to-change-the-way-we-approach-alzheimers-care-with-empathetic-education/