Virtual reality (VR) technology has already been used in several areas of healthcare, for things such as distraction therapy for pain and to help surgeons during complex procedures. A company called Hanger Inc is now using the technology to help patients suffering from limb loss.
Hanger Inc have begun rolling out MIGO, a VR experience designed to offers first-person perspective interaction with other amputees. This allows users to experience a range of activities such as driving a car with prosthetic legs or cutting food with a prosthetic arm.
“As America’s industry leader in prosthetic care, we’re dedicated to investing in new technology to support those we serve,” stated Hanger, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Vinit Asar. “Producing this VR experience to further empower the limb loss and limb difference community is an example of our commitment to fulfilling the triple aim of healthcare, which equates to exceptional patient care and experience.”
The software was first trialled at Hanger Clinic’s Bilateral Above-Knee Amputee (BAKA) Bootcamp. At this event sixty attendees accessed the VR experience to become part of a one-on-one mentoring experience that allowed them to see how prosthetic technology could be used to improve independence.
“Losing a limb can be highly traumatic, often compared to losing a loved one,” stated Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP(D), vice president of prosthetics for Hanger Clinic, Hanger’s patient care subsidiary. “I’m thrilled we’re now able to offer this new avenue for providing hope and inspiration, showing those with limb loss and limb difference what is truly possible with hard work, dedication, and the appropriate prosthetic devices.”
Feedback gained from the early rollout will be used to aid in the development of a longer MIGO VR experience that will feature a larger variety of prosthetic users performing a range of different activities.
The rollout of the extended MIGO VR experience is expected for summer 2018. VRFocus will keep you informed on any future updates.