Virtual reality neuro-rehabilitation programmes dramatically improving patient recovery and reducing referral times
Immersive Rehab is the brainchild of Dr Isabel Van de Keere, a biomedical engineer who spotted the potential of VR to transform physical rehabilitation after her own long and arduous rehab following a workplace accident eight years ago.
Now her virtual reality platform prototype is set to innovate digital health for stroke patients, increasing the effectiveness of physical and neuro-rehabilitation, reducing long referral times and improving patient outcomes.
When patients enter the virtual 3D world, they perform rehab exercises by interacting with virtual objects, training the neuroplasticity of the brain to improve mobility and fine motor skills. There are also significant benefits for mental health as patients feel motivated to continue by quantifying their own progress.
Immersive Rehab has now been granted partial funding to start a year-long clinical trial with Charing Cross Hospital and Imperial College London, with hopes of developing a commercially viable product first in hospital and rehab clinic settings, but with high hopes of bringing the tech into the home, thanks to the rapid evolution of VR technology.