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A look at how Virtual Reality can be utilised to address unmet needs in Healthcare.

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Virtual Reality is generally viewed as a technology only for entertainment purposes, but in recent times it has shown incredible potential in the area of healthcare. There has been previous research into how effective it is with pain distraction. Impact VR at Sheffield Hallam University has been exploring how the new advancements in VR hardware and development tools can produce innovative healthcare interventions.

This talk will discuss work that spans a wide area from pain distraction, upper and lower limb rehabilitation, and prosthetic training systems. It will provide insights into how the systems were designed and developed along with details on Impact VR’s next project.

About the speaker

Ivan Phelan, Director of the Impact VR Lab, Sheffield Hallam University is a games developer whose pioneering virtual reality technology in healthcare has supported amputees, burn victims and those with upper limb injuries to rehabilitate.

Ivan Phelan has been recognised as one of UK universities’ top creative spark as part of a campaign to showcase the extraordinary contribution of the country’s universities to the UK’s creative excellence.

The Impact VR Research Lab has developed a suite of immersive, interactive Virtual Reality (VR) rehabilitation systems for paediatric and adult patients with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, orthopaedic trauma, and chronic pain. The impact achieved by these innovations has been fourfold:

  • physically and/or psychologically enhancing the health, lifestyles, and wellbeing of patients
  • promoting more effective practitioner standards and services
  • improving public awareness and understanding of such technology and entering a related debate on social policy
  • and establishing commercial and medical collaborations to further improve healthcare and cost-effectiveness in the NHS.

Impact VR has developed a series of games that are being used to help children recover from arm injuries and lower limb surgery. Solutions for adults have been where burns victims have used the VR as a distraction to reduce pain during treatments such as wound dressing.

To support children and young people recovering from limb injuries, the team developed a VR archery game and a climbing game to motivate them to carry out exercises. The games, which require the user to reach behind their back to grab arrows, or reach upwards to climb a castle wall, are designed to help children complete their vital recovery exercises.

The team also designed an immersive virtual basketball game to help burn victims cope with the pain of medical treatments including wound dressing. New technology is currently being developed by the team to help support children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Social Anxiety and adults suffering from a swallowing disorder (Dysphagia).

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For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event, please note that BCS does not issue invitation letters.

This event is brought to you by: BCS Animation and Games Development specialist group, in association with BCS Hampshire and Dorset branches

Webinar: Using Virtual Reality to reduce pain and aid rehabilitation
Date and time
Monday 16 May, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
This event is sold out