Can virtual reality (VR) technology improve results for people receiving physical therapy? This is the question researchers at American International College (AIC) are attempting to answer.
In his role as director of Academic Computing at the College, Ben Mojica, ALM, seeks out innovative opportunities for his colleagues at AIC’s Colaccino Center for Health Sciences. He became aware of XR Health, a Boston-based company developing the use of VR in physical therapy. XR Health had received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its VR device and had begun reaching out to physical therapy clinics to try it.
Mojica understood that FDA approval meant the company was focused on serious clinical applications and not just marketing a gimmicky device. He approached XR to ask if they’d ever thought about getting involved in academia.
Enter Professor of Physical Therapy Patrick Carley, PT, DHA, MS, who is currently leading a study where participants wear a VR headset to test the range of motion in their shoulders by lifting their arms up, down, and to the side. He recently completed a similar study using VR to measure neck movements.
Dr. Carley said the idea behind the research is to see if VR is a valid tool for physical therapy compared to using a goniometer, the traditional form of measurement for range of motion. He believes VR, as a therapeutic tool, can make a difference. To find out why, please click on the following article from Healthcare News to learn more.
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