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Military moves toward virtual reality rehab - Metro US

Military moves toward virtual reality rehab

Wounded Canadian Forces soldiers will soon be experiencing state-of-the-art virtual reality therapy while recovering at the Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.

On Thursday, the hospital and the Canadian Forces Health Services unveiled plans to bring a virtual reality simulator to the centre.

Canadian Forces surgeon general Commodore Hans Jung said the system will provide maximum exposure to the patient in the shortest amount of time.

Patients are set up on a dual treadmill capable of moving in eight different directions in front of a 180-degree screen that depicts a realistic virtual environment. The simulator will enable patients to experience a wide variety of scenarios in a single session.

“You can really simulate almost all realistic life experiences and do it in an environment that is controlled and extremely safe,” said Jung, who is also commander of Canadian Forces Health Services.

The new virtual reality simulator will allow clinicians to safely push the limits of rehab training for a variety of conditions, said Dr. Susan Dojeiji, acting head of the hospital’s rehab division.

“Essentially, it will move the Ottawa Hospital to the global forefront of this state-of-the-art technology,” she said.

Patients at the OHRC who are not members of the Canadian Forces will also benefit from this new treatment option.

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