What is virtual therapy?
The value of functional training is uncontested in modern scientific literature and clinical practice. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to challenge people to train sufficiently, and to keep complying with therapy objectives. Especially when the rehabilitation process is long, tough, or boring many patients struggle to keep going.
By providing exercises in the form of games, the therapist can engage his or her patient much better. The games give the patient something to focus on, and they challenge patients to set themselves goals and accomplish these. A 3D camera or sensors register very precisely the movements and link them to a game. Each movement is immediately followed by feedback, as something happens in the game to reflect his performance. This motivates the patient to keep going. Moreover, each game has a very clear outcome in the form of scores. These allow patients to set themselves long term goals and monitor progress towards these goals. This is even more motivating.
A patient is also focused on the game and not on the exercise itself. This leads to more natural, unconscious movements. Patients often forget their fatigue and fear of pain and can achieve much more than they thought possible. Naturally, it is very important that the exercises correspond with useful functional movements, and that they can be offered at the right level.