virtual reality physical therapy virtual reality physical therapy Virtual reality workouts allow people to get physical therapy outside, inside, alone, with friends, near a doctor or across the world. (Photo: Screenshot / Youtube)

How one company is making physical therapy fun

A new virtual reality startup is making rehab more like a video game.

Is physical therapy so dull and annoying for you that you'd almost rather stay injured? Well, good news: A new startup is making physical therapy fun. Or at least less miserable.

VRphysio, a startup based in Tel Aviv, Israel, is using virtual gaming hardware and software to turn physical therapy into a video game. Patients don headsets, weights and body censors and connect to an app, allowing them to "play" physical therapy games at home.

"Biofeedback sensor data is sampled in real time and fed back into the current gaming session thus providing a seamless physical therapy workout experience," says the company, which was founded by a group of young Israeli entrepreneurs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq0v1tQD1CA

The headsets and other materials were designed by tech experts, physiotherapists and patients. They include a variety of games, including some you can play with friends, no matter where they happen to be.

The games change based not just on how well you do, but also on how your body's doing, which is monitored through biofeedback censors. So your workout is constantly being modified to suit your changing needs. Plus, your workout information gets sent to your doctor.

"Your doctor and physical therapist have a direct link to your stats, they know when, how often and how well your training went and can influence your current and future sessions as you play," reads the website.

The idea of using virtual reality to address a variety of medical conditions is gaining steam. The company was chosen to join the Tech for Good Rally, a startup accelerator that enables young tech folk to design technology that helps others.

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