29 / Mar / 2021

For seniors, the benefits of virtual reality go beyond just entertainment. A research from from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Age Lab found older adults who used a VR system were more likely to feel positive about their health and emotions, less likely to be depressed, and less likely to feel socially isolated compared with those viewing similar content on TV. VR applications, if properly deployed & maintained can help participants see faraway places, surround themselves with animals or nature - and, in some cases, even “stand” in familiar 360-degree settings such as a childhood street or schoolyard.

As people age, their brain activity tends to slow. In order to keep the brain active and responsive, it needs to be stimulated daily which can be achieved by introducing unique experiences using VR. The experiences range from walking through a jungle path to sitting in on a jazz concert at a speakeasy. It allows them to not only exercise their brain, but “travel” across the world and relive memories within the walls of a retirement or nursing home.

VR can be a great tool to promote socializing amongst elderly. One way to promote socialization by incorporating group virtual reality in nursing homes. Several people can put on different VR headsets and travel across the world or participate in events together. It makes it easier to socialize because participants don't have to directly see the person they're interacting with, but at the same time still bond over a shared experience - similar to talking to someone online without seeing their face.

Caregivers can also reap the benefits of using VR. It is an incredibly useful staff training tool, particularly if you're working with people who are living with dementia, because there are VR programs designed to help understand what it feels like to live with dementia. It is also beneficial to track and analyze the therapeutic outcomes for the elderly.

12 / Mar / 2021

Virtual reality (VR) opens up so many opportunities, giving users the ability to do everything from swimming in the ocean to flying through outer space with ease. The technology's fun options are endless - but how does it fit into childbirth?. VR magnifies the mind-body connection & influences our brain on how it perceives the sensation of pain. Recently virtual reality is being used by doctors during labor to distract & calm women until its time to push.

Virtual reality offers patients a medication-free option to help them cope with the anxieties and pain of birth. There is a research that is focused on women in labor, involving a half-hour test that displayed certain relaxing sequences via a VR headset. The experiment involved women who hadn't been given pain drugs and were going into labor for the first time. According to Reuters, the study participants who wore the VR headsets over a 30-minute period had an average 0.52 point drop on the self-reported pain scale (which goes from 1 to 10) compared with the control group that experienced a nearly identical rise  in pain.

Using VR for women in labor has additional benefits such as:

  • Lower Costs.
  • Few side effects.
  • Less risk to the mother & the baby.
  • A medication free option
  • Effective pain relief.
  • Also offers reliefs during post-birth procedures like stitches for tears or incisions.

Virtual reality could also help those who may have an active or past substance use disorder. The Administration's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services  clinical guide on treating pregnant people with opioid use disorder explains that those with the disorder can have a diminished response to opioid medication. This means they often require higher doses to find relief. During labor, it's possible that VR could offer a way to augment or replace medication to help manage pain for those with a substance use disorder.

During labor, VR offers a way to augment or replace medication to help manage pain effectively may also increase the body's own levels of endorphins and other pain-blocking mechanisms.

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