Virtual Reality in Healthcare

Having recently visited The Gadget Show in Birmingham, I discovered that virtual reality (VR) is the up and coming gadget for all technology lovers. There were virtual reality demonstrations on every corner and people queuing for hours to try this high-tech piece of equipment. It really appeared to be ‘the tech of choice’ and could be experienced in many different forms, from taking a tour of a SMART home to swinging through the air in a virtual gaming session.

We often shy away from new technology and virtual reality is not just for the more technologically advanced. There are now a host of applications and industries where VR is being used including architecture, sport, medicine, the military, rehabilitation, education, training and even healthcare.

The uses of VR in healthcare are vast, from phobia treatment to surgery simulation in which trainee surgeons can perform complex medical procedures with minimal to no risk.  

All of these advancements and use within the medical arena got us at Morris Care wondering whether it could be applied in care homes to improve the quality of life.

We have recently found an article published by BBC News about the charity BASIC (Brain and spinal injury centre) who have incorporated VR into the rehabilitation process and have purchased a VR piece of equipment called ‘Caren’. It is an additional aid to be used alongside basic physiotherapy for those who have sustained some form of brain or spinal injury such as a stroke or dementia.

The Caren builds confidence and gives those who are using it the opportunity to virtually do something that they might not be able to do anymore such as driving or even skiing. Amongst many other benefits, the Caren offers its users some form of independence, it helps them to build confidence in everyday scenarios such as walking to the shops or a woodland walk to strengthen muscles and mind. It also helps to give those suffering from dementia or complex care needs a sense of achievement which builds morale.

We all know technology can be feared and we often get overwhelmed by new advances but if it can be applied in the right environment, truly help and enable people to rebuild, it should be embraced and encouraged where possible.

Click here for more information about Morris Care’s services.

To read more about the Caren article click here

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