We’re excited to be the first healthcare system in the Twin Cities to offer new technology that uses virtual reality (VR) for rehabilitative therapy. Virtual reality helps create a more interactive and fun rehabilitation experience for North Memorial Health patients. During therapy, patients participate in activities with different intensity levels suited to their unique needs and goals. In a virtual environment, patients can often perform more repetitions of a therapy program or exercise than they could in the real world, in the same amount of time, with a higher degree of safety. Plus, they receive continuous feedback and positive reinforcement.
The VR REAL® System also provides data to track a patient’s progress and suggests the right amount of challenge as their skill improves. Tracking progress over time helps patients to better understand their recovery, as well as focus on the areas where they have the greatest need. The VR therapy is currently being used at two of our therapy sites: North Memorial Health Hospital and Arbor Lakes Rehabilitation Clinic in Maple Grove. The system complements our current therapy program and tools with a focus on:
- Rehabilitating upper body function and building strength
- Increasing range of motion and task accuracy
- Improving posture and balance, to reduce injuries due to falls
The new VR tool can be used to assist in recovering from various illnesses and injuries, including with those who have experienced a stroke, chronic neck and back pain, people with Parkinson’s and anyone needing therapy to improve balance and reduce problems related to dizziness.