People worldwide are currently in need of prostheses solutions to replace upper limbs due to genetic malformation, war-related trauma or occupational accidents. For upper-limb amputees, a prosthetic hand is one option for a productive, independent life and enables participation in education, the labour market and social life.
Despite several innovations, the needs of prosthetic hand users are still widely unaddressed, with 1/5 of end-users giving up on prosthesis use altogether. The cumbersome prosthetic journey and the limitations of existing commercial alternatives are at the heart of this problem.
The Simulation Crew is developing a VR gaming application that can be used by upper limb amputees to train prosthesis usage. Different settings will be created in which users can be immersed and engaged to train in a personalized manner. For example, take a look at our kitchen located in an atmospheric Italian village.
Rehab training in virtual reality
Rehab training for the use of prostheses takes time and requires persistence. Virtual reality combined with rehabilitation is one way of creating an interactive and engaging process in a simulated environment that enables upper limb prostheses users to experience scenarios that promote upper limb and prosthetic use.
The OneHAND project aims to combine rehabilitation knowledge with virtual reality to create a user-centred solution that could be used globally. Moreover, upper limb rehabilitation guidelines are being created during the project to support virtual reality (VR) game development. Physicians, therapists and upper limb amputees are involved throughout the project to create attractive VR games that match the training need. Users can practice more in their own home, with the guidance and support of healthcare professionals.
”Virtual reality combined with rehabilitation is one way of creating an interactive and engaging process in a simulated environment that enables upper limb prostheses users to experience scenarios that promote upper limb and prosthetic use.
To make sure our training is user-friendly, we stay in contact with several upper limb prosthetic users. Once in a while, we organize a test session in which users take a critical look at the training so far. Together with their input, we determine the next step in the development of the training.
What is the added value?
Upper limb amputees will benefit from the usage of VR games in their rehabilitation and prosthesis training phases to ideally create better long term usage and adaptability to activities of daily living, occupational and recreational tasks.