Technology has solved many human problems. The variety of these technologies is increasing day by day. Virtual reality technology is one of the technologies that can help facilitate human life in various dimensions. One of these dimensions is the improvement of the quality of life of people with dementia. Research shows that virtual reality technology can help people with advanced dementia problems such as Alzheimer’s.
What does medical research say about the role of virtual reality in improving dementia?
As mentioned, some recent research shows that with the help of new tools and technologies such as virtual reality, dementia-related diseases can be treated. One of these researches by Dr. Chi. Xiang (Jim). Done by Dr. Chee Siang (Jim) Ang.
The Kent University professor conducted his research on eight patients who are being held in a psychiatric hospital. These patients had problems such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.
What have been the achievements of this research?
To conduct this research, a workshop was held with the presence of patients and clinical specialists to decide on the choice of a quiet environment for conducting research. Each participant used a virtual reality headset to explore five virtual locations. These virtual places included the countryside, the sandy beach, the rocky beach, the forest and the cathedral. The choice of relaxing place was left to the taste of each patient and participant in this workshop.
Within 15 minutes, patients ‘and nurses’ responses to exposure to virtual environments were assessed. During this time, patients were able to navigate through various virtual spaces. Some of them preferred to stay in a chosen place and others wanted to try their hand at different places.
The research team found that this technology, virtual reality technology, helps patients recall their past memories. The virtual reality headset acts as a stimulus that recalls the past in patients’ brains. With the help of this technology, patients’ nurses also gain more information about their past lives, and as a result, the possibility of improving their relationships and interactions increases.
What are the effects of using a virtual reality headset on patients?
In Dr. Ang’s research, patients who used a virtual reality headset gained access to memories of their past. For example, one of them painted a picture of a beach with the help of an experience he had gained by seeing different scenes in the headset. This positive change in a person’s mood showed that headsets and virtual reality can affect patients’ recovery and help them develop and strengthen the creative process.
It is clear that the use of virtual reality technology can help patients with dementia recover and help their families and nurses. This technology has many benefits and can increase the quality of life of a person with dementia.
Research has shown that using a virtual reality headset can improve depression, reduce stress and inner anger in people with dementia. Dr. Ang has also tested the technology for people in nursing homes and day care centers, and believes that by doing more research into the space elements of the technology, virtual reality could help make it more effective in treating brain diseases. And specify its more precise use.
With the development of virtual reality-related technologies, it will be much possible for engineers and designers to customize virtual reality headsets for anyone. By personalizing this technology, the patient can control the environment to be entered in the virtual world with the help of a headset. As a result, one chooses to be in the virtual environment of the house or any other place that one is most interested in.
What is the use of virtual reality technology?
According to Dr. Ang, the cost of purchasing and accessing virtual reality headsets will be affordable for users. As a result, with the mass production of these devices, every patient can buy their own headset and use it at home. At the same time, one should not think that the elderly are hesitant to use technology and are incapable.
Technologies can be practical and play an important role in addressing the problems and needs of everyone, including the elderly. Dr. Ang’s team has not specifically researched memory and the effects of virtual reality on memory. The focus of this group has been more on the pleasure and well-being of patients with the help of virtual reality technology.
In fact, with the help of virtual reality headsets, patients can experience things that happen outside the hospital or home and care centers and because of their circumstances, they can not experience them. Because this was the first study to be performed on patients with dementia, the research team had to be careful about the possible side effects and risks of long-term use of headsets on patients.
Even in this short-term research, the desired results of using a virtual reality headset for patients were observed. These favorable results encouraged Dr. Ang’s research team. The positive effects of using a virtual reality headset on the mood and general well-being of patients can give them a new life. A new life that has not been experienced for a long time due to illness.
Need more research on virtual reality headsets?
It seems that more research is needed on the use of virtual reality headsets in the treatment of patients with dementia. Lora Appel is a postdoctoral fellow at OpenLab University in Canada. He says that the positive evidence for the use of this technology for patients with dementia has not yet been determined precisely and has remained a matter of words and hadiths.
In fact, no systematic research has been published on the positive effects of virtual reality headsets. As a result, it is not possible to speak clearly about its effectiveness in curing dementia. According to Dr. Laura Apple, a member of clinical research in the field, the medical community is optimistic about the use of virtual reality headsets, but research in this area still needs further investigation.
He is involved in research projects. In this project, the use of virtual reality in improving features such as bed sores, better use of restrictive care devices to protect patients with dementia (devices that prevent them from being harmed, such as a belt that prevents the patient from walking) He stays in bed overnight, shows vital signs, is hospitalized, maintains physical health, such as falling, and so on.
What other research has been done on virtual reality?
Maree McCabe, director of the Center for Dementia in Australia, has published an article on the results of using virtual reality to improve patients with dementia. These studies have shown that the use of this technology for patients who are in the early stages of dementia needs further investigation. However, there is evidence that virtual reality can have a positive effect on the healing process.
So far, research has focused on the positive effects of virtual reality on improving patients’ quality of life, and no conclusions or action have been taken on memory enhancement. The general well-being of patients is enhanced by the use of virtual reality, through which they can access experiences that the disease has prevented them from accessing. In other words, virtual reality helps them recall past memories and experiences and build better relationships with others.
What will be the experience of using a virtual reality headset?
Experts believe that the current use of this technology will be beneficial for patients in the short term. Of course, it should be noted that various programs and applications that have been produced in this field, such as look back, immersi care, rendever, and. Have not yet been fully approved. Consequently, their use for patients should be done with caution and in a limited way. Otherwise, the patient may be harassed. To see the results and effectiveness of the use of virtual reality in patients with dementia, there is a need for further research and continuation of this research.