If you’ve ever had surgery or broken your arm, you’ll know how long it takes before you feel like your normal self again. Physiotherapy sessions seem never ending, and quite frankly, rebuilding muscle strength is a drag. Being stuck in a hospital bed can be even more demotivating as days slowly start blending into one another. It’s easy to give up with every twinge or slight bit of pain. Tomorrow’s another day after all…
But physical therapy and avoiding sedentary behaviour are essential to making a full recovery. Even more, actively working on your recovery helps reduce the risk of complications and the length of your stay in healthcare institutions. With nurses and other healthcare professionals under pressure to give all patients an equal amount of attention during their rounds and physical therapists only able to see patients so many times a week, up to 60% of a patient’s time is spent in bed.
Enter HoloMoves: the Mixed Reality (MR) solutions that promote recovery by gamifying physical therapy sessions and empowering patients to exercise, with or without supervision. The head mounted display glasses project holograms around a person while the real world remains visible to them. Instead of doing yet another lap around the ward, patients are challenged to pop virtual balloons, release butterflies and more.
“With HoloMoves, we want to contribute to the digital care transformation,” says co-founder Joep Janssen. “Holographic Interaction Technology helps us personally motivate patients to get physically active at their own level and pace. As technology progresses and visuals become increasingly realistic, we’ll find even more ways in which we can help improve patient care. We believe virtual reality technology has the potential to address some of the biggest bottlenecks in healthcare provision today.” And with literature showing that increased exercise reduces hospital admission times by as much as 5-14% it’s easy to see how both patient and care facility gain from the introduction of mixed reality applications.
Realistic Training Scenarios
However, it is not just patients who benefit from this new mixed reality technology. It lends itself perfectly for educating carers and patients alike as its interactive 3D holograms help visualise complicated structures ensuring users can better understand diagnoses and recovery processes, empowering them in the process.
It can be difficult, for example, to understand exactly how your bladder and guts work if you’ve suffered a spinal injury. Which is why HoloMoves and De Hoogstraat Revalidatie developed a module that shows how urine passes through the kidneys and bladder, and how it is expelled by urinating. Understanding the potential complications of paraplegia – such as urine flowing back into the kidneys – is hugely beneficial to patients as they learn what signs and symptoms to look out for. This empowers the patient to make healthy decisions, such as knowing when to use intermittent catheterisation.
The innovative team behind HoloMoves has also cocreated a training with UMC Utrecht in which different scenarios present an interactive learning experience. From the obstinate patient who does not want to cooperate to the family member who believes nurses should take care of absolutely everything for the patient in their care, HoloLearn simulates realistic situations and teaches care givers how to respond to them.
It should come as no surprise then that HoloMoves has now officially been CE classified as a class 1 medical device. Nor that the company has made its home in Utrecht as the Heart of Health.