06 / Apr / 2021

Being sick and hospitalized can actually be a terrifying, if not utterly traumatic, experience for a child. Nobody likes being in a hospital, and children are no exception. Despite the extra effort that the staff in a pediatric ward puts in and the specially designed clinical spaces, it is often hard to make a child forget that they are in a hospital. Children are conscious of the fact that their normal life has been interrupted abruptly and that they are missing out on big events and family life. They may even begin to be comprehensive about pain, immobility, separation from loved ones, loss of control, and disruption. If a child is to receive an injection, for example, or have the dressing changed on a wound, they may put on a headset to focus their attention away from the painful stimulus and engage in this fun activity instead.

Virtual Reality has an Important Role to Play

With regards to the medical applications of VR, pediatrics is an area that offers tremendous opportunity . As imaginative and inquisitive as children are, the immersive quality of VR is more likely to keep them spellbound than an adult. Children can explore coral reefs, or even walk with dinosaurs from the confines of their hospital beds. They can also feel like they are participating in their favorite activities again or seeing their favorite pet at play. Family events can be filmed in 360 ° and then viewed through VR, so children can have a 'real' feel of being part of the event when compared with just looking at photos or videos. T.hese possibilities make VR a very important tool, not only to improve a child's quality of stay in the hospital but also to  augment the healing process .

VR helps Parents too

A child's illness can be a testing time for parents too, and for that matter the whole family. Families are psychologically vulnerable after the hospitalization of a child. The associated stress can manifest as symptoms of depression and anxiety. In extreme cases, parents can develop post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), which can in turn negatively impact their ability  to care for the child. Therefore, relieving distress in parents is an important healthcare objective as well.

SyncVR Medical builds on these concepts to bring an innovative VR solution for children in hospitals. The SyncVR Relax & Distract application library contains relaxation exercises, cognitive stimulating games and videos. This application comes with a tablet on which you can spectate what a patient is seeing in the VR headset.

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.

25 / Mar / 2021

Virtual reality (VR) technology has emerged as a promising tool for studying and rehabilitating gait and balance impairments in people with Parkinson disease (PD) as it allows users to be engaged in an enriched and highly individualized complex environment. Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disorder that is traditionally managed by a combination of medication and physical therapy treatment. Within VR, augmented feedback about a person with Parkinson's performance enables repetitive practice of motor tasks, thus stimulating both motor and cognitive processes simultaneously. VR offers patients with neurological deficits , such as Parkinson's, an opportunity to develop new motor strategies, or to relearn motor abilities that were lost due to their injury or disease processes.

VR can simulate situations that would be too dangerous or cumbersome to perform in a clinical setting . For example, having fall-prone people with PD perform gait and balance tasks on raised platforms to elicit anxiety is too dangerous, but immersive VR technology provides the opportunity to induce similar fear responses while participants remain safely on the ground. Additionally, other VR technologies focus on improving more broad symptoms of Parkinson's, such as being able to increase stride length and improve balance, in safe, controlled environments.

The rationale behind using VR systems lies in providing augmented visual and auditory feedback to gradually challenge postural control and balance during a task. This strategy bypasses the deficient motor generation system present in people with Parkinson's, thus improving their motor response. VR offers opportunities to safely identify an individual's specific triggers and balance deficits, thus creating personalized training targets

09 / Feb / 2021

Being a human comes with all sorts of baggage, oftentimes dealing with emotions that cloud our judgments on a daily basis. However there is only so much that a person can bear, like debt that accumulates over time. Sweating, trembling, giddiness- when the stress levels increase so much as to hinder our mundane activities it means you've crossed into the health burdening territory of anxiety.

The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the world varies from 2.5 to 7 percent by country. Globally an estimated 284 million people experienced an anxiety disorder, making it the most prevalent mental health or neuro-developmental disorder. Social anxiety often stems from teen years and has variety of factors. These might include genetic problems, personality {being innately shy} or life problems {any violent experience}. Most people experience these symptoms of social anxiety during confrontational or attention-drawing situations. There exists a constant underlying fear of embarrassment, criticism rejection and most importantly failure. Unfortunately these implications are extended into almost all aspects of life like Public speaking at an occasion to a job interview or simply ordering food from the restaurant.

Fortunately for every problem there is a solution or at-least a solution in progress. Before using virtual reality as an avenue for treatment, non-exposure therapies were used to activate the fear that the patients felt would conjure anxiety for them. But these methods had certain limitations for example, imaginal exposure wherein a patient imagines the stimuli that triggers anxiety-instilling fear. However, the it was difficult for the doctor to know and understand what the patient has actually imagines.

Virtual reality helps bridge this gap while having the same goal: Patients learn how to overcome anxiety by replacing it with relaxation. Therapists can now use VR to help their patients maneuver difficult situations. But what VR does differently is, it creates real life situations in an environment that can be seen and controlled by the therapists. It this element of control that sets VR apart from other modes of therapy and is also the driving force behind its popularity. The extent of use of VR in anxiety treatment is also modified by its ability to be used remotely from anywhere without actually leaving the office. .The sole purpose of VR is to recreate a vivid representation of the world we actually live so that the feeling of actually being present there is real.

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