OmniVR, the first virtual rehabilitation system designed specifically for older patients, uses interactive 3D technology to increase patients' exercise participation.
OmniVR is the first system developed specifically to address the needs of geriatric patients and aging adults using virtual rehabilitation technology. Launched in 2010, the system is designed to improve the quality of care in long term care facilities and nursing homes, and to make physical rehabilitation more engaging for seniors.
OmniVR was developed by medical technology company Accelerated Care Plus (ACP) as a tool to help physical, occupational or speech therapists improve the recovery process and quality of life for their patients. The system uses a sophisticated 3D camera and specialised software to capture the patient's image in real time and present it as an avatar in a game-like virtual setting displayed on a large screen.
Patients use the OmniVR to participate in a series of therapeutic exercises and activities under the guidance of their therapist. The system offers different types of exercises for functional rehabilitation, including seated exercises, wheelchair control, cognitive exercises, walking, balance and upper extremity exercises. The exercises are selected to suit the patients' individual ability level and designed to improve their functional abilities through muscle strengthening, movement, balance and endurance programs. At the end of each therapy session, the system gives patients a score that reflects their performance and establishes goals for the next session. The OmniVR can accommodate one or two patients at a time.
Research over the years has shown that virtual rehabilitation can deliver results that are equal or better than those achieved in traditional therapy. Patients tend to exercise harder and longer when they are engaged by an interactive virtual environment that offers positive reinforcement. The motivational aspect gives systems like the OmniVR an important advantage over traditional rehabilitation equipment because physical limitations and fear or injury often make patients reluctant to participate in the therapy process. Immersive technologies have made huge strides in helping older adults overcome their fears and encouraging them to participate in physically challenging activities to reach a new level of function.
Accelerated Care Plus is a leading developer of specialised rehabilitation technologies and provider of clinical programs for post-acute rehabilitation. The company's solutions are used in 4,000 nursing homes and rehabilitation centres across the United States.