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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


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17 / Mar / 2021

Post Covid patients, especially those affected seriously by it, are expected to have higher needs for physical, psychological and cognitive rehabilitation. Virtual Reality (VR) administers fast, tailor-made rehabilitation at a distance, and offers a solution for the impending surge of demand for rehabilitation after COVID-19. The immersion of VR may increase therapy adherence and may distract the patient from experienced fatigue and anxiety.

An intensive care admission is a fearsome experience, especially when a patient is supported by mechanical ventilation as is common in COVID-19. Depression occurs in approximately 30% of recovering patients, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 10–50% of patients and anxiety in 70% or Post-Intensive Care Syndrome after coronavirus infection or {PICS} patients. Psychological therapy targeting these indications can be offered through VR. VR rehabilitation as part of telemedicine solutions has several advantages compared to traditional rehabilitation. First, considering our society's continuing need for social distancing, therapy can be given at a distance. Second, VR allows therapists to treat patients simultaneously. While therapists must monitor sessions at a distance in some cases, live support is generally not required, increasing patients' autonomy and reducing the workload of therapists. What makes VR particularly different is that it provides its users with a 3D immersive environment. The immersion makes therapy more fun and reduces distraction from the external environment. Both might increase therapy adherence and engagement. Besides, VR may serve to distract patients from experienced fatigue and anxiety which would otherwise hinder their ability to move.

The COVID-19 crisis has generated a need to expand telehealth technologies. Embedding VR in virtual care platforms would assist in spreading of VR therapy, both for post-COVID-19 patients in the present and possibly for other patients with similar rehabilitation needs in the future.


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10 / Feb / 2021

Virtual Reality is being used an emerging treatment for post-stoke rehabilitation. The benefits of VR includes easy adaptability, real time feedback and the ability to recreate life like situations in a safe and controlled environment, while the gaming part of VR is fun, interactive and engaging. Combined together VR rehabilitation is gaining immense popularity by enabling intense and repetitive training while providing entertainment to the patients. Recent studies have shown that VR could promote lower limb movement and restore balance ability for people who suffered stroke or Parkinson's disease or children with cerebral palsy.

Generally, balancing the body is thought to be achieved by the coordination of three major systems, including visual, vestibular and proprioceptive sensation. Previous studies have shown that the prefrontal cortex is one of the most important brain areas in controlling human balance. By using a virtual environment to train the eye-head movement, balance in older people can be improved and occupational falls are minimized.

We at SyncVR have recognized this key aspect of VR and used it to create SyncVR Fit – an application that facilitates body movements for the purpose of physiotherapy, geriatric and post-IC rehabilitation for all age groups. It form an active engagement with the patients by allowing them to experience fun, positive emotions. SyncVR Fit has game-like exercises like blocking balls from the goalpost in a virtual gym or trying to collect different fruits. Using exercises in this form not only enhances the psychological benefits of exercise but also increases the likelihood of long-term adherence to exercises.

 


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