A patient with balance issues standing on a bosu ball while batting a playful pufferfish between two dapper penguins.
Another seated and holding a weighted ball while kicking at pinball controls with their feet.
Standing on one foot while following a footpath on a beach, making a ham-and-cheese sandwich in a food cart, playing tarot cards.
These might all seem odd ways to undergo physical therapy — but this is the future of rehabilitation, enabled by virtual reality (VR) tools.
“Patients are really engaged with virtual reality,” said Nora Foster, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, physical therapist and executive director of Northbound Health. “The VR immersive experience motivates and challenges patients to get the most out of their rehab therapy.”
Medical device company Penumbra hopes to further enable this capability — and help improve patient outcomes — with the release today of the first hands-free, full-body, non-tethered VR rehabilitation platform.
Penumbra’s REAL System y-Series is the only platform to use upper and lower body sensors that allow clinicians to track full body movement and progress in real time, explained Penumbra CEO, Adam Elsesser.
“The full body was the big next step,” he said. “It’s the one thing in our area that people have been wanting so that they can get working with patients on the rest of the body; not just the upper part — the whole body. It opens up the window to help so many more people.”
Penumbra’s REAL System with VR now features upgraded hardware and sensor technology — notably, lower-body sensors. Comprising a headset and five sensors, the technology can now address both upper and lower extremities wit …