UK based charity Sue Ryder has announced that it is trial of a new virtual reality (VR) based therapy at a neurological care centre in Aberdeen is to be rolled out across the whole of the UK. This will see many more patients able to experience the benefits of VR within the medial sector as it becomes more widely used for treatment.
The neurological care centre is designed to support people with conditions including cerebral palsy, MS and motor neurone disease along with those affected with brain injuries. The VR application is designed to allow users to immerse themselves in unique experiences and locations such as being on the beach, going sky diving or even scuba diving.
Talking to the BBC, one 65-year-old resident at the neurological care centre in Aberdeen said the VR experience was “terrific” and that “it’s somewhere I could not go in a wheelchair. The sea lapping at my feet feels so good, I feel like kicking off my shoes.”
Now that the trial in Aberdeen has been a success with a number of reported users being pleased with the experience, the VR application will now be rolled out across Sue Ryder’s network of neurological centres across the UK. Therapists at the centre noted that the new VR therapy was having a dramatic effect on those using it including the reduction of blood pressure and pain levels. They added that residents were less agitated and more relaxed as well. Sue Ryder believe that the effects of a session within the VR experience could last for several days.
“Within seconds of [the equipment] being on, people were more relaxed. About 75% of people saw blood pressure decrease – a couple increased as they were so excited.” Said Louise Torrance, head of care at Sue Ryder in Aberdeen: “They have got freedom as they can choose where to go. It’s something to look forward to. It’s hugely significant. They are talking about it with other residents and their families. Once that is rolled out it will have a huge impact.”
This is not the first time that VR has been used within treatment but this roll out marks another big step for VR technology as it continues to become more widely used and accepted. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on Sue Ryder’s VR usage in the future so make sure to stay tuned for more.