VR for Patients with Chronic Pains

VR for Patients with Chronic Pains

I went to Siggraph 2019 a few weeks ago and had some thoughts about VR.

With the release of the various commercial VR systems from the technology giants, VR is no longer a mystery these days. More and more people in all kinds of fields began to see it as a profound tool rather than a novel technology. I think this is the reason that some people say VR is dying, but some say VR is rising in the meantime. VR is dying as a novel technology but growing as a tool which is accessible to everyone.

Because I have been closely working with Physical Department on human balance projects, I listened to a talk about VR for patients. The highly immersive and interactive experience grant VR indispensable advantages in the realm of games. And just because of the same advantages, healthcare professionals and clinics are widely using VR for patient care. Interestingly, the talk wasn’t about human motion; it was more about VR treatment for chronic pain. Even though I didn’t get what I expected, but I, as a non-expert in Physical Therapy, realized that VR can relieve pain and help to calm and relax. Patients can achieve certain meditation status much easier in therapeutic environments than in reality. Some clinics are using VR to help patients suffering from phobias etc to lighten their pain. Honestly I was impressed that VR can even lighten pain from certain mental health issues. Hope to actually experience how it really works someday.

Zhu Wang
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