VirtualRehab Receives First Medical Device CE Mark Approval for Motion Capture Physical Rehabilitation Software in Europe

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Virtual reality immersive therapy being used in largest neurorehabilitation centre in UK

Ce Mark


when we saw the possibilities that VirtualRehab offered, especially the customizable games and patient data monitoring, we were immediately interested in incorporating it.

VirtualRehab® today announced it is the first virtual reality platform to receive CE mark approval as a medical device manufacturer from the European Commission and the only certified motion capture physical rehabilitation software using Microsoft Kinect® and Leap Motion™ VR technology approved by the EU to develop both hardware and software for medical purposes. The following video shows how virtual reality games are used for physical rehabilitation in patients.

Virtual Rehab is a clinically validated physical rehabilitation software designed in collaboration with neurologists and physiotherapists. It is currently being used in the Neurorehabilitation unit of the internationally recognized National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery (NHNN) Queen Square in London, part of University College London Hospitals NHS Trust. The multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation team at Queen Square is the largest centre in the United Kingdom that cares for patients with neurological conditions including stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, peripheral neuropathies, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Nick Ward, a neurologist and neuroscientist who works at both the NHNN and the UCL Institute of Neurology, is one of the foremost specialists in stroke and neurorehabilitation and has conducted extensive research in understanding the brain mechanisms of upper limb impairment and treatment after stroke. He comments, “Queen Square has a long history of using the most innovative solutions to provide our patients with the best therapy possible. We are aware of the benefits of using traditional videogames with some of our patients, and when we saw the possibilities that VirtualRehab offered, especially the customizable games and patient data monitoring, we were immediately interested in incorporating it into our existing services. After having used VirtualRehab and receiving such positive feedback from both patients and therapists, I firmly believe solutions like it can form an important part of neurorehabiliation therapies to improve the overall quality of life of patients.”

“This is a significant step for VirtualRehab opening up access to new healthcare markets in Europe and beyond. We believe that virtual reality has the ability to transform how patients feel about physical therapy, and recover quality of life through day-to-day motivation. Our video game technology and telerehabilitation is scalable and designed by specialists who can create custom therapy programs for each patient, track exercises online and use data analytics to monitor progress. There is still much that can be done in this emerging field and we are focused on continued innovation to improve patient welfare through immersive technologies, serious games and engaging 3D technology, ” said Unai Extremo, founder of VirtualRehab.

In a recent study, results proved that the use of VirtualRehab combined with traditional rehabilitation is an effective alternative for patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis when used over a continuous period of time with a professional therapist. The results obtained from the clinical trial show a significant improvement in various body functions of the patients, especially in static and dynamic balance, fatigue levels and in their level of functional independence.

VirtualRehab is now being used to treat a wide variety of neurodegenerative, neuromuscular and neurovascular diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson´s disease, brain injury, Alzheimer´s disease, Stroke, dystrophies, and even with the elderly to help improve mobility. Endorsed by the Spanish Society of Neurology, patients across Europe have logged more than 8,562 game sessions and almost 900 hours in therapy.

VirtualRehab is the very first virtual rehabilitation software to be classified as a medical device, registered as a Class I, getting the CE Mark conforming with the regulatory system of EU´s Medical Device Directives.

ABOUT VIRTUALREHAB® | | @virtualrehab_en

VirtualRehab® is a tool designed by experts in neurorehabilitation that offers simulated physical rehabilitation training programs for patients with different degrees of physical disability. By using virtual environments in a videogame format combined with the Microsoft® Kinect® and the Microsoft® Azure® cloud platform, the patient can do physiotherapy exercises customized by their therapist both in the centre where they are being treated as well as do telerehabilitation in their own home. This technology allows the patient to be monitored remotely by their physiotherapist who evaluates their progress.

VirtualRehab® exercises the affected functions (motor, coordination and cognitive to a lesser degree) in Neurodegenerative diseases (Multiple Esclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease), Neuromuscular disorders and Acquired Brain Injury.

The exercises and movements have been specifically designed to work on the affected functions, such as balance, coordination and endurance. To achieve this, VirtualRehab® uses modern motion capture techniques provided by the Kinect by Microsoft ®, which eliminates the need to attach cables to the patient thereby improving comfort. In VirtualRehab®, the patient becomes the actual controller.

Through the use of a variety of highly motivating games, the system makes it possible to retrain abilities such as balance (while sitting and standing), thrust inhibition, load transfer and changing between sitting and standing positions. At the same time, it makes it possible to stretch the upper limb horizontally whilst away from the body and to retrain different functional patterns and reaching of different parts of the body. These abilities are extremely important for the patient in terms of feeding, hygiene and getting dressed.

ABOUT VIRTUALWARE | | @virtualwareUK

Virtualware Group is a business group of technology companies that specialize in the development of hardware and software solutions based on immersive and interactive technologies. The company designs and creates high-tech value-added solutions, products and services for culture, education, training and health through our offices in the United Kingdom, Spain, Latin America and the Middle East as well as through our partners around the world.

In the field of health, we develop technological solutions that help manage diseases in different areas including neurology, physiotherapy, psychology and others, paying special attention to helping groups with neurodegenerative and chronic diseases. Health specialists, patients, families and caregivers as well as patients associations all benefit from the use of these technologies in helping to manage diseases and disorders.
*All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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