Rhode Island rehab center uses VR to help with patient recovery – Boston News, Weather, Sports

NEWPORT, RI (WHDH) – A rehab center in Rhode Island is using a new high tech treatment to help patients recover.

Virtual reality is being used at the Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center to help patients get back their mobility and motor skills.

The Gait Better uses a treadmill, VR headset and sensors to simulate obstacles that one faces when walking, to help fall victims recover.

“All that dual tasking is really good for brain recovery and falls,” physical therapist Jenny Volpe said.

Dr. Mustapha Kemal, medical director of the Vanderbilt Rehab Center, said that the VR headset helped a recent failed patient working to get their mobility back, without the need to go to another facility.

“Not only does it help the patient progress, but progress quicker,” Dr. Kemal said.

Patients also wear a headset called The REAL that features sensors to track head, hands, arms and body movement to track patients working on motor skills.

“It’s more exciting for them than the traditional weights [and other treatments],” Cassie Bardi, a speech language pathologist, said. “You take this headgear off and you forget you’re in this gym. It just takes you to an entirely different world.”

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