Virtual Reality Technology

NHS gets £400,000 funding to utilise Virtual Reality with stroke patients

A partnership between the University of Chester’s Medical graphics team and the Countess of Chester Hospital stroke department got a boost to utilise virtual reality (VR) when assisting stroke patients. Now the VR implementation for stroke patients in the hospital is a step closer.

The funding amounting to more than £400,000 will be helpful in offering immersive VR experiences for stroke patients. What the organisations are actually doing is finding ways to utilise a VR headset to give the patients the ability to practice and relearn their daily activities, for instance putting bread into a toaster.

Fortunately, these partners in the important venture are now a step closer to achieving their goal thanks to Digital Health Technology Catalyst (DHTC). The government’s DHTC programme granted a funding of £453,000 to aid the efforts of the NHS hospital and the University of Chester’s medical graphics.

Speaking about the plan Nigel John of the University of Chester said they had an aim to minimise the duration as well as the expenses of long-term care offered to stroke patients. This according to John, will be facilitated by utilising affordable technology to enable intensive rehabilitation of the patient both at the hospital and home. 

The immersive VR to be used in this programme is designed to adapt to the needs of the user, who will be able to operate them with minimum supervision. Patients in these VR stroke programmes will not entirely depend on family and carers. This relatively will help the partnership reach their target of reducing the cost of long-term care.

Patients interacting with the VR will be capable of measuring how well they are improving in terms of cognitive abilities, confidence building in their ability to perform the tasks of every day and at the same time control the psychological trauma associated with the stroke condition.

When DHTC shared £17 million among 8 projects, the virtual reality in stroke patients programme was one of the 8. Cadscan, a 3D scanning firm has also involved the participation of bringing the immersive VR experience to stroke patients in a bid to help them and their loved ones. DHTC is a £35 million fund being operated through 4 years with an aim to address challenges within the development of upcoming digital health inventions. This includes solutions commercialised for use by the NHS facilities.

The Countess of Chester Hospital is an NHS facility under the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS for Trust. Just recently the medical facility signed a 15-year agreement to bring to practice the Cerner Millennium electronic patient record (EPR) system. It would be great if the NHS could devise a way to assist the stroke patients. This will be an innovation whose fruition will be of great help in the NHS facilities across the country.

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