How Does Physical Therapy Benefit from Virtual Reality?

Would you kindly introduce yourself and your professional experience?
I’m a psychosomatic physical therapist by the name of Kiki Coppelmans. In other words, I take care of patients who have complex issues including burnout, depression, chronic pain, or post-stroke or post-operative recovery. They require a little more assistance, so they don’t go through the typical recuperation procedure.

What made you decide to build a virtual reality therapeutic platform?
Thanks to my husband Gert-Jan Brok, I experienced virtual reality for the first time in 2014. He creates video games and designs user interfaces. He is fascinated by people, how they connect with technologies, and how to best utilize their individual strengths. He once brought home a VR headgear that connects to a computer. It was a revelation for me because I was abruptly plunged headfirst into that setting. I felt at ease. I was ready to move. If only I could apply this with my patients, I thought to myself. My husband responded, “Let’s do it,” after I had spoken out.
The next step was to develop a treatment plan for this technology. We started by creating a setting for whiplash treatment (WADI&II). Because they have a great deal of mobility anxiety and suffer from severe pain, this patient group is exceedingly challenging to treat. Consequently, they require a different strategy.

With Corpus VR, which we created, the patient’s range of motion may be seen and modified by the therapist. Since they are in a setting resembling a game, the patient isn’t entirely aware of it. This enables us to stimulate greater mobility while also providing feedback and motivating them to perform better. This turns out to be quite motivating and restores their self-esteem and belief in their ability to accomplish more than they may have thought. They frequently forget that they are capable of coping, that everything will work out, and that their bodies are still capable of sustaining life. We restore their sense of hope.

What games and VR tools does Corpus VR provide for clients?
Therapists will have no trouble understanding how Corpus VR works because it was built while still taking physiotherapy techniques into consideration. With the headset on, the patient is placed in a simulation of a gaming world where the Corpus VR program is designed to track their individual movements. We then utilize this information to tailor their treatment.

Your patients’ motor skills in their brains can be retrained by you, the therapist, along with various therapy variables. With games made specifically for that reason, you can target the area you wish to train.

For example, to test the effectiveness of a rotation-based exercise, we created a city-like game where patients can retrain neck movement by watching a car cross the street or teach proprioception and muscle coordination by letting the patient complete a gaze labyrinth in virtual reality.

Which issues with conventional physical treatment may virtual reality solve?
The key challenge is to resolve the bodily and mental components. You won’t always be able to help your patient solve the problem if you merely address physical complaints. Some people experience tension and negative thoughts while they are in a lot of pain, which can lead to a feedback loop between pain, exhaustion, and lightheadedness. Patients are urged to adopt an optimistic outlook.

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Most essential, you typically receive exercises to perform at home when you visit a physical therapist. You concentrate on the discomfort and your exercise-related experiences when there is no VR or Corpus VR present. In spite of the fact that the game is conjuring the exercises, if an external focus can also be supplied, the emphasis is more on the fact that you are merely playing a game. Due to your realization that you are improving, exercising suddenly becomes enjoyable.

Connecting with your therapist and receiving therapy from home is a necessary component. This enables the therapist to observe your performance of the exercises while also modifying your level of difficulty. Because it is constantly at your level and what you need, you feel supported even when you are far away.

The idea behind the technology is that if I, the therapist, and you, the patient, can both become more involved in your own healing, then we will make a perfect team. This speeds up the healing process.

Do you believe there has been resistance to implementing new technologies in rehabilitation?
The majority of therapists take a cautious approach. They are confident in their ability to carry out their duties. Everything depends on your willingness to adapt. If we want the patients’ habits to change so they can recover more quickly, we as therapists must likewise follow suit.
They must modify their workflow, and it is true that this takes time if new technology is being used. We have to take that into account as a young, inventive organization. We must assist clients in the implementation process and make sure they are adequately trained if they intend to use Corpus VR.

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How crucial are events like MEDICA for networking and visibility as a tiny business?
We have already participated in and visited a range of trade shows. We waited till we had more market clout before approaching MEDICA in the beginning. We have now been in the market since 2018, thus for us, going to MEDICA was the appropriate move.

What we see here are substantial chances to speak with resellers from other nations. Every therapist in the globe can use this tool because the techniques it contains are essentially the same worldwide, despite the fact that we already have some resellers in other nations.

What are the upcoming, urgent measures you want to take to create your virtual reality system?
With the assistance of our German partner Magic Horizons, our next immediate action will be to handle the upgrade in which we add six additional unique relaxation surroundings. Corpus VR is a platform that not only treats behavioral and mental issues but also neurological and physical issues, such as anxiety, burnout, and stress-related issues in patients. By doing so, we are able to assist even more patients in their everyday hardships.

Finally, Corpus Connect is available to clients. That will certainly save time because it addresses many customer service inquiries and update frustrations. This frees up therapists to focus on treating patients rather than using technology or handling paperwork.

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