Virtual Reality and Robotics Team Up to Heal
From NIH Grant to Primary Care and Neurorehabilitation
Mike Christian, CEO of From The Future, LLC, and Dr. David Brown, Dean of the School of Health Professions at UTMB, are once again working together in using virtual reality (VR) to aid in physical rehabilitation. Their partnership began in 2017 with a National Institute of Health study. “Dr. Brown is a leader in collaborating with engineering professionals to research and develop products for the advancement of patient rehabilitation,” says Mike Christian.
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“The combined powers of VR and robotics has the potential to profoundly change the face of physical and neuro rehab.”
With significant advancements in VR technology since 2017, Dr. Brown looked to Mike Christian to update the previous VR game application, called Lucid, for the newest hardware to integrate with the KineAssist MX therapeutic treadmill (KAMX).
Players wear a VR headset and walk on a KineAssist MX Treadmill, which allows patients with physical injuries or chronic pain to walk safely while supported by an intelligent robotic arm. Patients complete physical therapy goals and exercises while being cognitively engaged in a virtual world.
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The KAMX and the Lucid VR experience are installed in two rehabilitation facilities with a third on the way. These facilities are located at the UTMB Primary Care Pavilion (PCP) in Galveston, Texas and the Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute with a location also in Galveston and one in Lubbock, Texas. PCP’s use of the KAMX will focus on treatment for physical issues related to injuries or musculoskeletal disorders involving back, hip, and knee pain. The Moody center’s use of the robotic treadmill will be for people with brain injury that have difficulties walking. In the recent article, “Virtual Reality and Robotics Team Up to Heal”, Mike Christian states, “The future combined powers of VR and robotics has the potential to profoundly change the face of physical and neuro rehabilitation.
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