Instead of grappling with limited mobility to attend physical therapy sessions, recovering patients can don VR gear as part of rehab, potentially enabling remote therapy and treatment from the privacy of their homes thanks to Verizon’s latest lab project
Most patients who are recovering from serious surgery must go through some form of rehabilitation. These patients are often hindered in their mobility, making getting to and from places a challenge. Professor Steven Feiner and his students at Verizon‘s incubator lab Alley are working on a potential virtual rehab program that could make life easier for both those patients and their therapists.
The program works by “creating a collaborate virtual environment in which the therapist and patient use virtual reality to perform exercises focused on motor rehabilitation when they’re both in different locations.” While this ability would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, the advances in both VR as well as the incredible speed of a 5G connection have made it something possible to test out.
The potential benefits are obvious for both the patient and therapist. Rather than having to leave the home with limited mobility, patients could perform their rehab in their home by simply donning VR eyewear. Doctors and therapists also would be able to take on more patients, as their sessions become more streamlined. While this idea is still in the testing stage, it has the potential to optimize—if not—revolutionize a crucial aspect of healthcare.