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Digital therapy through immersive virtual reality for motor recovery

Patient with Kinesix VR

Currently, digital therapy has revolutionized the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered a stroke or other condition that hinders any type of movement.

One of the most promising techniques is the use of immersive virtual reality for intensive training. This innovative form of therapy is not only focused on physical recovery but also stimulates cognitive aspects such as attention and perception, promoting neuroplasticity.

Through interaction based on reaching, grasping, transporting, manipulating, among others, a sense of presence is created that enhances motor learning.

In this article, you will find all the information on how digital therapies and immersive virtual reality improve motor control of the hand, arm, and trunk, through a motivating, safe, and fun environment.

Intensive training for motor recovery

According to various studies, there is evidence that immersive virtual reality is valuable for neurorehabilitation due to its ability to imitate real-life and increase neuronal activation, thanks to the enormous variety of environments and exercises where activities can be performed.

Digital therapy located in the metaverse allows intensive training that accelerates motor recovery through the repetition of specific movements in a virtual and safe environment, where users practice intensively and focused.

This helps strengthen neural connections and promotes neuroplasticity, facilitating the recovery of motor functions affected through specific and concrete tasks. The exercises offered by the Kinesix VR platform are designed with a clear therapeutic objective, dosed and adapted for each patient.

Motor control of hands, arms, and trunk

Patient motor skills

Digital therapy with immersive virtual reality allows for specific movements that improve shoulder joint range of motion, fine and gross movements of the hands, coordination of upper limbs, and much more.

The exercises designed in the virtual environment focus on the movements and skills that users need to improve, such as grasping objects, lifting the arm, and stabilizing the trunk, providing a practical and functional experience that involves activities of daily living.

The rehabilitation training provided by the Kinesix VR software integrated into the goggles includes:

  • Mobility of fingers, hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders.

  • Cervical exercises involving neck flexion, extension, lateralization, and rotation.

  • Coordination of upper limbs and trunk control.

  • Basic components of movements such as reaching, grasping, transporting, manipulating, among others.

Cognitive stimulation in a motivating and fun environment

Kinesix VR GYM

In addition to the physical benefits, digital therapy stimulates important cognitive aspects. The therapeutic exercises provided in a stimulating and motivating environment increase patient engagement and commitment.

Motivation plays a fundamental role in the rehabilitation process; grater involvement in the excercises and increased participation, wich augent the chances to achieve better results. By using therapeutic games and implementing gamification techniques, we can turn the training process into a fun and desirable experience for the user.

Gamification generates a sense of progress that is stimulating for maintaining motivation. As patients progress in treatment, overcome levels, earn rewards, or achieve new records, they experience a sense of accomplishment and commitment to the progress made.

By using immersive virtual reality in rehabilitation and learning compared to semi-immersive or non-immersive approaches, there is a greater concenration of cognitive resources such as attention, visual perception, and sense of presence.

What does the use of virtual reality goggles contribute to neurorehabilitation?

Given the rapid pace of technological advancement, the utilization of immersive virtual reality headsets in rehabilitation is becoming more widespread. However, often non-professional programs are used, attempting to leverage commercial games that lack a specific therapeutic purpose. When using a professional tool like the Kinesix VR platform, we encounter several advantages:

  • We can control the session from an external application and see on the screen what the patient is seeing.

  • It is possible to switch activities without the patient having to remove the goggles, allowing for continuity in the immersive experience.

  • We can instantly adjust all exercise parameters: time, difficulty, and type of exercise.

  • There is the option to perform mirror therapy within an immersive virtual environment.

  • The patient feels more motivated and adheres better to a treatment that is more enjoyable.

  • There is a variety of pre-designed activities, without the need to search for materials or prepare the session in advance.

Digital therapies based on immersive virtual reality represent a significant advancement in motor rehabilitation. Through intensive and focused training, motor control of the hand, arm, trunk, and other skills can be improved.

Additionally, cognitive stimulation in a motivating and enjoyable environment adds an additional component to therapy, enhancing the outcomes. With the continuous development of technology, these digital therapies promise to further improve the quality of life for people seeking to regain their motor function.

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