Inclusion and accessibility: The power of virtual reality in empowering children with disabilities

Daniel Baldwin, CEO & Co-Founder, MARS VR Lab Inc.

VR has the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare services, and it is already being used for a variety of life-saving purposes.

One of the most promising applications of VR in healthcare is rehabilitation.

2 minute read

Virtual reality and inclusive rehabilitation

Virtual reality can be used to assist patients’ recovery from injuries or illnesses by offering a safe and controlled environment in which they can perform motions and exercises. This can be used to help people improve their physical and mental abilities as well as their ability to deal with pain. Some studies even show patients who regularly use VR for pain management need less medication to manage their symptoms. 

VR rehabilitation is also advancing the ways we think about inclusion and healthcare treatment.

At MARS VR Lab, we are aware of how critical it is for healthcare technology to be inclusive as well as easily accessible. The XPod is adapted to the individual capabilities of each child, enabling them to direct the movement of the virtual wheelchair with components taken directly from actual power wheelchair arms and input devices.

Virtual reality in other healthcare practices

The topic of mental health is another area where VR has a significant impact and the opportunity for inclusivity. VR can be used for exposure therapy for people with illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and phobias. Therapists can help patients deal with their worries and improve their mental health by showing them virtual simulations of traumatic events or situations that cause anxiety.

VR healthcare has the potential to make mental health treatments more accessible and inclusive. Not only is it giving people more options for treatment but it has the potential to aid the overwhelming healthcare system by providing virtual mental health treatments. 

VR technology is also starting to be utilized in medical training and education. VR can be used by medical students and trainees to practice operations and surgeries in a safe and controlled setting. This can help them get better at what they do and give them more confidence. It can also make it less likely that they will make mistakes during real procedures. Additionally, it helps to better prepare doctors who specialize in different areas of medicine which gives them an opportunity to work on their skills as needed. 

By providing medical professionals with more hands-on training experience, VR has the potential to make medical training more accessible in the field. Using VR as a training resource is just one-way doctors’ medical training can be updated to be more inclusive and accessible for hospitals. 

The future of VR healthcare and inclusion

VR technology clearly has much to offer the healthcare field and has the potential to speed up healthcare advances. As technology keeps getting better, I hope we see more companies focused on inclusion through the use of VR in healthcare. VR has endless potential in healthcare, from providing patients with a safe, controlled environment to practicing motions and exercises to exposing patients to virtual reconstructions to help them overcome their anxieties. However, it also has the potential to be more inclusive in our treatments for patients, specifically children in rehabilitation. 

Additionally, VR can have a significant impact on medical education and training, as well as communication and collaboration among healthcare practitioners. The application of VR in healthcare has the potential to enhance patient outcomes, reduce expenses, and increase global accessibility all while being inclusive for all patients. 

Lastly, as technology advances in our society, VR will most likely become an integral part of our healthcare system and treatments. Both patients and medical professionals have a lot to gain with the advancement of VR technology and the limitless opportunities it is already starting to provide including the empowerment of children with disabilities. 

If you liked what you read, follow Danny on his LinkedIn page to learn more about his work at MARS VR Lab