Rehabilitation with immersive virtual reality

Virtual reality and Immersive Virtual Telepresence are innovative tools to support rehabilitation programs for patients suffering from cognitive disorders, motion disorders (such as strokes and Parkinson's disease), and psychological disorders (such as fears, stress and anxiousness).

Immersive virtual reality

Within the "Cave", a virtual room designed for Virtual Immersive Telepresence, typical treatment scenarios for cognitive, motion and psychological disorders are simulated. Thanks to this modern approach, rehabilitation programs for compromised functions are enhanced in order to help patients overcome their deficit. Furthermore, patients are helped in simulations of the environements in which disturbs usually arise. Technologically speaking, the "Cave" system reproduces reality with cognitive, auditory and visual stimuli (tactile and olfactory stimuli are in development). Thanks to the 3D stereoscopy view, linked to a positional tracking system, the "Cave" can measure distances and volumes giving users the sensation of being actually in the scene projected on the screens. The Cave Project was built in partnernship with the Italian Ministry of Health and 50% of the total expenses (around 1 million euros) was incurred by the medical institute, which researched clinical uses of virtual reality technologies in the past 20 years. In the field of rehabilitative medicine, Forge Reply was chosen by Auxologico to design and develop two Caves, taking unique and highly specialised integration of virtual reality systems skills, and applying them for the first time nationally in the medical field.

Medical cybertherapy

Physical and cognitive rehabilitation 2.0: this is the technology used by the IRCSS Auxologico Italiano. The medical institute, which specialised its research teams in immersive virtual reality rehabilitation programs, presented in 2016 the long awaited projects that led to the realization of two Caves: environments devised to host virtual reality programs developed in support of therapeutic interventions.
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    "The Cave constitutes an extraordinary tool in the rehabilitation programs for patients after a stroke, in the initial stages of senile dementia or in the treatment of diseases like Parkinson's. Thanks to this technology we can help the eldery patients in their return home, simulating their daily routine in a safe environement," explains Marco Stramba Badiale, chief of the Geriatric Cardiovascular Department and of the Experimental Laboratory for Rheabilitation and Cerebrovascular Medicine of the Auxologico Institute of Milan. "

  • "This therapeutic application is the new frontier of immersive reality," says Filippo Rizzante, Reply CTO, "and this Cave project is the firs of its kind in Italy. Forge Reply contributed offering specialized skills in designing virtual reality and immersive reality systems, giving patients the opportunity to experience a new rehabilitative process based on innovative technologies."

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    "This interest in Cybertherapy stems from the need of finding the latest psychological rehabilitation solutions," added Prof. Giuseppe Riva, head of the Technology Applied to Neuroscience Laboratory of the Auxologico Institute, remembering that "this technology was first used to cure anxiety disorders of US veterans". Giuseppe Riva worked on the Cave project after 20 years of studying virtual reality, being the world most published author on the matter."