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VR Therapy is Taking Paralyzed Veterans to New Places


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Veterans experiencing virtual reality.

The St. Louis Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital has incorporated virtual reality into its therapy for paralyzed patients.

Credit: David Carson

The St. Louis Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital has incorporated virtual reality (VR) into therapy for paralyzed patients, who wear goggles and use joysticks to engage with simulated three-dimensional environments.

Participants navigate within a small setting with perceived barriers like walls or edges, and can virtually box, learn tai chi, shoot a bow and arrow, and fish.

About 50 hospitals in the U.S. and Israel use VR-based therapy applications developed by four-year-old XRHealth. The programs can help patients manage pain, as well as measuring their reaction times, ranges of motion, and cognitive functioning, to ascertain their progress toward recovery.

XRHealth CEO Eran Orr said, "We believe we should treat this technology as a medical device, not just another gaming or patient-experience tool."

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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