When my dear friend Dr. Charles suffered a devastating stroke, I witnessed the emotional and physical toll of recovery. Paralyzed on his right side, Charles required intensive rehabilitation to regain mobility. As a father figure who took me under his wing as a young immigrant, Charles’ struggle hit close to home. I desperately wanted to ease the process for him.
This inspired a partnership between my start-up VEERA Medical and Brooks Rehabilitation to transform recovery through immersive technology solutions. Charles served as my motivation to pioneer the use of Multidimensional Applications (MA) and Virtual Reality (VR) in reimagining rehab.
An Innovative Vision for Rehab
Rehabilitation is grueling. Strokes, injuries, and conditions necessitating mobility retraining take physical and mental tolls. Adherence to recommended therapies is a major challenge. Up to 50% of patients are non-compliant due to frustrations with repetitive, boring exercises. Virtual reality changes the equation completely.
Immersive simulations make therapies feel less like work, providing rewards and motivation. Studies show VR yields better mobility outcomes while reducing pain and anxiety. By spurring neuroplasticity, it accelerates healing.
MA seamlessly unifies VR experiences across realities, while VR immerses patients in simulated activities from the comfort of their homes. Together, they enhance enjoyment and outcomes. Our partnership with Brooks Rehabilitation is helping make this virtual future a reality for patients like Charles.
Customized VR Recovery Journeys
VEERA Medical has developed a library of VR games and scenarios that therapists can leverage and customize for each patient. These simulations provide motivating environments for rehab tasks, from homes to parks to gyms. Clinicians can adjust intervention variables within the VR experiences to target patients’ specific mobility goals and functional needs. For example, a therapist may increase the range of motion required in a reaching task for a patient to regain arm strength. Or they might add obstacles to a virtual walking path as a patient progresses. This ability to modulate challenges and tailor the VR to patients’ capabilities allows for highly personalized treatment.
The MA platform syncs the VR experiences with sensors on patients and real objects. As they interact with virtual coaches, therapists monitor progress. This closed-loop maximizes benefit.
A Vision for Connecting Clinicians Across Distance
A key potential advantage of VEERA Medical’s MA approach is enabling therapists to remotely tap into patients’ VR recovery sessions. Using real-time notifications and video feeds, clinicians could guide patients through exercises virtually without being physically present.
This could allow therapists to work closely with more patients in less time. MA facilitates seamless collaborations, orchestrating immersive treatment wherever optimal.
Brooks Rehabilitation is planning to pilot this model soon. A home-based VR program using VEERA Medical’s platform will be tested with high-functioning outpatients to assign customized exercises. We look forward to seeing the results and iteratively improving our vision of easily connecting clinicians and patients across distance.
Accelerating Recovery Through Innovation
While VEERA Medical’s MA rehabilitation platform is still evolving, initial results have been promising. Kevin, a stroke patient using the system for mobility recovery, reported feeling more motivated by the fun VR games that integrate motion-tracking sensors. This allowed him to get immediate feedback on his objective progress. In a video testimony [link to video], Kevin noted faster gains in range of motion compared to traditional physical therapy alone.
Real patient experiences like Kevin’s inspire us daily. We look forward to conducting more research and refining our solutions to help as many people as possible recover faster and more enjoyably. Our growing partnership with Brooks Rehabilitation is bringing us closer to the day when VR-guided therapy is the gold standard for healing.
- Patient Testimonial Kevin’s Stroke Recovery Journey with VEERA Medical. VEERA Medical. Kevin’s Stroke Recovery Journey with VEERA Medical – YouTube
- Lang CE, Lohse KR, Birkenmeier RL. Dose and Timing in Neurorehabilitation: Prescribing Motor Therapy After Stroke. Curr Opin Neurol. 2015;28(6):549-555. doi:10.1097/WCO.0000000000000256