Virtual reality, in its current iteration, mostly exists as a gaming peripheral. However, that hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs and developers from pitching all sorts of secondary uses for the technology. “VR as medical treatment” is not a new idea, but smaller and cheaper headsets have opened up the technology to whole new swaths of potential patients. And two of these groups—small children and senior citizens—might find VR even more approachable than the veteran gamers in their families.
This unconventional insight comes from Pearly Chen, vice president of business development and partnerships at HTC. She joined MyndVR CEO Chris Brickler at Techonomy’s recent’s Accelerate Health: Pioneering Solutions for a Healthier Society conference. Together, they participated in the “Virtual Reality, Real Results: The Future of Immersive Treatment” panel, discussing the HTC Vive, VR’s place in the elder care industry, and how tech-savvy young men don’t always make the best early adopters.
Brickler devoted a large part of his time to discussing how VR can benefit senior citizens, particularly those with dementia. Through playing brain-training games or exploring virtual environments, they can not only stay mentally active, but also improve their relationships with caregivers.