Nov. 2017
VirtualRehab 4.0 debuts at Medica

VirtualRehab 4.0 debuts at Medica


Virtualware once again takes part at another highly successful Medica, presenting the latest version of VirtualRehab, including a Motor and Language Training module and a VR app for ADL training.

Medica Medica Dusseldorf is the number one global medical technology trade fair, and is attended by nearly 120,000 visitors and more than 5000 exhibitors. Based on the success that Virtualware had last year when it exhibited in the ABHI (Association of British Healthcare Industries) stand, this year promised to be even busier with the new location in Hall 4, which is dedicated to rehabilitation and therapy solutions.

The 2017 campaign to promote the latest version of VirtualRehab, the Virtualware’s CE marked motor neurorehabilitation platform is nearing its end. The product has already been presented at the 5th Annual Queen Square upper limb neurorehabilitation course in UCL, London, RehabWeek in London, the Ineba Conference in Buenos Aires in Argentina, at Medica and will wind up at the UK Stroke forum from the 28th to 30th of November.

Visitors to the Virtualware stand had the chance to test out all the new features of VirtualRehab 4.0, both in the BODY and HANDS modules, as well as test the new Motor and Language Training (MaLT) module which Virtualware is currently developing in conjunction with researchers at the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading (UK). This combined motor and language therapy tool for brain injury patients uses the motion capture technology and includes games that target major language therapy tasks involving single word comprehension, initial phoneme identification, rhyme identification and naming of objects.

Based on the University of Reading’s initial studies, MaLT has demonstrated that motion sensor technology can be successfully combined with a language therapy task to target both upper limb and linguistic impairment in patients following brain injury. This new module reflects VirtualRehab’s multidisciplinary approach to providing virtual rehabilitation in clinical and home settings.

Visitors to the stand were also able to try another exciting interactive rehabilitation solution currently being developed by Virtualware which uses the HTC Vive Virtual Reality headset. The new application is focussed on training Activities of Daily Living, including preparing meals and shopping for groceries, in a fully immersive environment. The VR app is designed to be used as an intervention for ‘action disorganised syndrome’, a common neurological impairment associated with damage to the frontal lobes in the brain.

When donning the HTC VR headset, the user finds themselves in a kitchen environment where they have a virtual assistant in the form of a small robot. The user can then choose from a series of menus to prepare, and are then required to perform all the tasks to make the meal. This includes finding all the necessary items in different parts of the kitchen (fridge, cupboards, etc.).

In the case that there are any missing ingredients, the user is then ‘transported’ to a supermarket where they are required to find the missing items on the shelves. They then need to pay for the items, after which they are transported back to their kitchen. The user then must ‘cook’ the meal on the stove by choosing the ingredients in the right order.

This highly engaging therapy application was a real success with all visitors to the stand, with many people passing by the stand just to try it out. This great interest and very positive feedback show how VR is growing in its acceptance as a new tool to improve rehabilitation.

David Fried, the International Business Development Director for VirtualRehab said of Medica 2017: “This year’s edition of Medica in Dusseldorf was really a positive experience for us. This is our first year in Hall 4 where most of the companies related to rehabilitation are located, and we could see the difference in the sheer number of visitors to our stand compared to last year. We saw very strong interest from international distributors looking at reselling VirtualRehab in their countries, as well as many local therapists who were looking for new technologies to incorporate into their clinics. Our VR app for ADL training was also a very popular draw, and we’ve noticed more and more people are becoming familiar with this technology and seeing its potential in rehabilitation. We were able to look at other interesting technologies that we are evaluating to incorporate into VirtualRehab, and we also had very good discussions on future commercial collaborations with other companies. We’ll definitely be back for Medica in 2018, with many more exciting advances in VirtualRehab.”

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