Penumbra Launches First Hands-Free, Full-Body VR for Rehab

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Author: HIT Consultant Media (Syed Hamza Sohail)

What You Should Know:

Penumbra, Inc., a global healthcare company focused on innovative therapies, today announced the first full-body, non-tethered immersive virtual reality (VR) healthcare offering.

– The latest REAL® System y-Series is the only platform to use upper and lower body sensors that allow clinicians to track full body movement and progress in real-time. The expansion of the virtual reality-based healthcare platform, REAL System, will be used to address a broad range of physical, cognitive and mental health needs for patients undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Using Immersive Virtual Reality to Improve Healthcare

Penumbra’s REAL Immersive System is a platform of products that leverages virtual reality to deliver engaging, immersive healthcare designed to promote better health, including furthering functional skills, cognition and stress management. Built on advanced technology with a growing library of VR-based activities and experiences, the REAL Immersive System platform is comprised of two product solutions: REAL y-Series for clinical rehabilitation and REAL i-Series for wellness.

“Two of the largest barriers that physical therapists face in rehabilitation are maintaining patient motivation and engagement,” said Gita Barry, executive vice president and general manager of Penumbra’s Immersive Healthcare business. “Penumbra’s latest REAL y-series is the only hands-free, sensor-based VR platform available that addresses the full body. By enabling patients to visualize their entire body in motion and providing clinicians the ability to personalize each therapy session, we can maximize the key benefits of rehabilitation therapy by fostering high engagement, and ultimately improving patient outcomes quickly.”   

The latest REAL y-Series includes upgraded hardware and sensor technology to address needs spanning a wide range of patients. With the addition of lower body sensors – creating the first full body experience – the technology can support an even wider range of conditions, including orthopedic, adding utility from high acuity to high functioning patients. The REAL System y-Series is currently being used in clinics and hospitals across the country to address upper body impairments caused by stroke and other conditions, core and balance, cognition, functional uses, activities of daily living training (e.g., grocery shopping, self-care) and cognitive stimulation. 

The need for innovative rehabilitation therapy has never been greater. A new survey conducted by YouGov, which includes more than 100 physical therapists in the U.S., confirmed the challenges and need for innovation in the field today:

1. 80% of physical therapists say the field has changed only moderately or not at all over the last decade

2. Nearly 75% say patient compliance is the biggest challenge in physical therapy today, but more than half believe VR can help improve that.

3. Nearly three in four physical therapists (73%) are seeing patients who are affected by COVID symptoms or have long-COVID, yet less than half (46%) say their practice is prepared to deal with the influx.

4. While the majority of physical therapists (65%) would be eager to use technologies like VR in their practice, only 39% believe their hospital and clinic decision-makers are likely to invest in new technologies.

“Penumbra is advancing the latest immersive healthcare technology to help patients get back to their life with as little impairment as quickly as possible. VR in healthcare can be an extraordinary resource in rehabilitation and with our full body immersive innovation, we know we can have a tremendous impact on a broad range of patients,” continued Barry. 

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