Welcome back for part 2 of our double-header on the applications of VR in healthcare. This week we’ll be discussing the potential for using VR to simulate social situations, as well as its ability to assist in rehabilitation. We will also discuss our collaboration with fellow UT Dallas startup Neuro Rehab.
The immersiveness of VR is it’s biggest selling point. For that reason simulating situations in VR has been effective in training patients to respond to the aforementioned situations in productive ways. All forms of social training can be performed with VR, which is much less intimidating than jumping straight into a physical simulation, making it perfect for training people with autism.
Children and adults with autism can have great difficulty interpreting social cues from their environment correctly. Not being able to pick up on what others consider “common sense” is painful and makes it difficult to form relationships. Currently, it is typical for a person with autism to receive social skills training by a behavioral analyst. This training may take the form of a “skit” where the therapist acts out a situation and the client is asked to recognize the meaning behind the hypothetical social interaction and act accordingly. However, this is restricted to the therapist’s office. VR can make remote skits and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) much more realistic and interactive than a simple video explaining social situations.
Likewise, people facing severe addictions need training on how to refuse drugs in social situations. Oftentimes alcoholics and cigarette smokers relapse because of peer pressure, or discomfort, or unfamiliarity in social scenarios. They also often work with behavioral therapists to prevent relapsing but it faces the same issues; the training is limited to a therapist’s office. A MOOC taken through a VR headset are going to be more effective than anything besides being in the therapist’s office. Practicing saying “no” in a VR headset is the closest thing to actually being placed in that situation without needing real people.
Social situations are plentiful in most industries, but they have particularly important consequences in healthcare. In a few minutes you can come up with dozens of potential use cases all the way from training medical students and doctors on how to interact with patients and give bad news, to visualizing medical procedures from the patient’s eye. The opportunities are out there waiting.
Rehabilitation is difficult as it is, often boring, and stressful. What if we could make rehabilitation calming, intuitive, and even fun. Here at Immosis we collaborated with fellow UT Dallas startup Neuro Rehab to build a beautiful, soothing game to assist in physical therapy.
This simulation is a true game-changer in the clinical industry because it truly accomplishes something that has not been done before. We utilized full-body motion tracking and inverse kinematics to give the patient a sense of self-awareness in the simulation, allowing them to see their entire body mapped to a virtual avatar. This means that the player can fully extend, bend and move their leg in any way they want, and have it be tracked in the game with hardly any latency.
Players kick volleyballs into wooden targets in a serene environment, with additional game mechanics designed to challenge such as difficulty settings and combo bonuses. The game also collects player movement data that can be used by therapists or clinics to track progress, while also tracking progress through improvement in their performance in-game. Learn more about Leg Day here, or contact us.
Virtual and Augmented Reality is making waves in many different industries, and healthcare is no exception. Stay up to date with VR and AR technology here at the Immosis blog, or contact us.