Virtual reality helps physiotherapy patients to do exercises at home, Thanks to WMG researchers, virtual reality can help physiotherapy patients to successfully complete their home exercise.
Nowadays physiotherapy often requires patients to do routine exercises at home.
Outside the clinic, patients rarely receive instructions other than brochures with sketches or static photos that instruct them on how to do their exercises.
This leads to poor adherence, with patients worried they are not doing the exercises properly or just getting bored with repetitive movements.
The emergence of virtual reality technology for users in combination with 3D motion detection enables the correct translation of real movements into avatars that can be displayed in a virtual environment. Virtual reality helps physiotherapy patients to do exercises at home.
Researchers at the Institute of Digital Health, WMG, University of Warwick, are investigating whether this technology can be used to guide physiotherapy patients by providing virtual home physiotherapy to demonstrate prescribed exercise.
Researchers must investigate whether humans are able to properly coordinate and track avatar movements in a virtual environment. They asked the participants to measure themselves on time with an avatar displayed via a VR headset. Virtual reality helps physiotherapy patients to do exercises at home.
Unknown to the participants, the researchers subtly delayed or accelerated one of the avatar steps, so the participants had to adjust their own pace to stay on time.
This correction effect at the time step and synchronization with the avatar is measured.
When the participants were observed to adjust their own steps to follow the avatar, we knew they could follow the movements they watched. Researchers say: We found that the participants ran to stay on time when there was only visual information. Virtual reality helps physiotherapy patients to do exercises at home.
However, if we add realistic steps alongside visual information, more realistic multi-sensory information will allow participants to follow the avatar carefully.
VR technology offers great potential for consumers to provide training guidelines and make training more interesting.
This study focuses on important questions about how well people can follow virtual guidelines.
Our digital support and technological solutions can support transformative health innovations that affect physiotherapy and directly benefit patient rehabilitation.
said the researcher. We now plan to work with physiotherapists to investigate other types of movements to identify the physiotherapy fields that benefit most from this technology.