Mixed Reality Rehabilitation
An interactive virtual reality research study at Banner Baywood Medical Center may help transform the entire process of rehabilitating stroke patients.
Researchers from Banner Baywood and Arizona State University are using the “Mixed-Reality Rehabilitation” system to aid stroke patients in improving motor skills and functional movements. The system uses cutting-edge technology to give patients immediate feedback on the performance of their movements, as well as directions for improvement.
The project aims to drastically increase the effectiveness of stroke therapy, and provide patients with a version of the system which can be used in their homes with remote supervision from a therapist – a potential breakthrough in cost-effective, long-term rehabilitation.
Patients are seated comfortably in a chair at a specialized desk in front of a video screen and speakers, surrounded by sensory equipment that tracks the patients’ movements in real time and connects them to interactive sights and sounds. For example, they learn to move their arms by fitting puzzle-like images together on the screen, while synchronized music helps them improve their timing.
This technology is designed to complement physical therapists in an in-hospital setting, as well as an at-home setting. Developers are also working on creating a portable, low-cost system patients can use in their homes. Two of the major benefits of the at-home system will be that patients can be monitored remotely by trained medical professionals, and that patients can work independently daily, between sessions with physical therapists.
For more information, call the Research Department at (480) 854-5178.