So in 2016 Orr took the leap and launched XRHealth. Provides physical therapy to patients through “augmented reality,” which includes augmented, virtual and mixed reality.
It works like this: Physical therapy or restorative therapy — patients with chronic pain, autism spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease, etc. — Conduct a virtual 1-hour screening session with XRHealth’s team of clinicians. After determining the diagnosis and treatment plan, XRHealth ships the patient a virtual reality headset (made by HTC Vive) programmed with various XRHealth-developed applications.
But what makes virtual reality physical therapy better than standard therapy? Saga was the selling point.
“This physiotherapist was virtual, so I don’t think I’ve been to a physiotherapist as often,” says Quigley. “For a while in a week he did two sessions. And I don’t think he ever got in the car and drove somewhere and ran the program and he didn’t come home twice in a week. It was so convenient to be at home, just turn on the camera and go.”
Quigley is one of nearly 5,000 patients who have used XRHealth to date. Each VR program is tailored based on the patient’s needs. Those with chronic shoulder pain may use the “Balloon Pop” program — think Fruit Her Ninja.But your arm does a slice — the user moves the arm in a certain way Can be customized by the clinician. Those recovering from post-traumatic stress may find the Deep Sea Meditation application helpful. To calm the user, it encourages meditation while underwater surrounded by virtual fish.
Programs developed by XRHealth are monitored by clinicians as patients receive treatment. Some clinicians choose to watch their patients on video calls while they play games, meditate, or use other apps.
not for Everyone. Some may require more rigorous or intensive treatment options that require close direct monitoring. Others may prefer to be physically with their therapist. However, qualified patients say the benefits go beyond convenience.
Quigley said of the technology: “And then I realized that I actually felt a lot better.”
One of the challenges XRHealth faces is ensuring public trust. The company recently announced a study showing that “virtual reality technology is effective in treating upper extremity dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients,” according to a release. The study observed his 30 individuals using a VR training solution and found that 26 of his 30 patients were “feasible for virtual reality training.”
Orr believes that healthcare use cases will grow as virtual and augmented reality technologies expand.
“I think we have the potential to become a hospital in the metaverse,” said Orr., refers to the virtual world. “What we are building is a platform that will allow clinicians to treat patients in the metaverse, but not just as a gimmick, but as an actual modality of care.”
Colin Robisheaux can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. follow him on twitter @Col Robisheaux.