Virtual reality (VR) is a technology Total trend, very accessible today and that is experiencing a great boom in the sector of health. This technological experience allows total immersion in virtual spaces with which you can interact through a specific device.
Thanks to these benefits being adopted in many areas of healthcare, including diagnosis and treatment, such as surgery or subsequent rehabilitation. This last aspect is precisely where this article focuses.
Users feel immersed in this technology-generated environment as they react to user movements. Therefore, Virtual reality is used to realistically shape a virtual world. In the case of rehabilitation, it can assist in a patient’s movement and help them exercise in a way that cannot be achieved in physical therapy.
For example, someone with nerve damage can practice everyday actions in a safe digital environment, such as pouring a cup of coffee or cutting a steak. Just to give one example, SenseGlove, a Dutch startup, has already created a glove that supports virtual recovery programs through VR simulations and haptic training.
In addition, as some experts explain, in this way and interacting in a virtual environment, patients seem not to be too aware of physical pain, which allows them to achieve their goal more efficiently.
To this we must add that the conventional rehabilitation process is repetitive in nature, negatively affecting the patient’s motivation to overcome challenges.
With all this, virtual reality has become an important therapeutic tool, compared to the conventional form of rehabilitation. These are the big ones benefits of virtual reality in the rehabilitation process:
In this case and how VR is capable of simulating real life activities helps patients to improve their psychomotor skills.
This virtual environment, generated by glasses or a helmet, allows the construction of a parallel reality that is changing, which motivates the user to be constant and effective with the exercises.
On the other hand, pain reduction is another area where virtual reality it is generating significant changes, so much so that it may end patients’ dependence on pain relievers in the near future.
It is quite striking that VR can mitigate the pain of patients when performing the exercises, but It is proven that your recovery process is faster and less painful.
This is quite a touchy subject but the reality is that VR also improves the condition of cancer patients. This technology, at decrease pain and improve health Mental health greatly affects the general well-being of these patients. Here virtual reality acts as distraction therapy.
Of course, chemotherapy is the key to being able to cope with cancer, but anyone who has been through this process or has experienced it with a family member knows the symptoms and the long hours of waiting: anguish, fatigue, sleep disorders, depression, what it increases the difficulty of the patient to comply with the treatment by affecting their quality of life.
So this immersive distraction, so to speak, like VR rehabilitation, is effective when patients can focus on pleasant stimuli instead of symptoms.
Some VR systems still worry
Virtual reality has been shown to be a potential ally when it comes to rehabilitation, but like everything in life there are also negative aspects that are still being assessed. For example, some systems still raise concerns about whether they are really effective with sectors such as the elderly.
In particular, during some tests carried out with immersive systems, they have come to experience headaches and dizziness. On the other hand, little is known about the effect of virtual reality if it is carried out during a complex activitylike walking on a treadmill with VR during rehabilitation after a stroke, for example.
Knowing this is of great help with respect to less complex activities but a lot of research is still needed to prove to future if virtual reality is efficient in all environments and sectors.