A three-year art-science collaboration is unlocking the potential of virtual reality in rehabilitation.
The Elements project is supported through the Australia Council’s interdisciplinary arts initiative Synapse and the Australian Research Council. Melbourne-based media artist Jonathan Duckworth teamed up with Associate Professor in Psychology at RMIT, Peter Wilson to develop a virtual reality workspace that helps patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) regain movement.
TBI is the main cause of death and disability in adolescents and young adults, and has social and economic costs in excess of $3 billion per year in Australia.
Three male patients between the ages of 20 – 25 were recruited for preliminary research using the system. They were seen to improve their gestural skills significantly with documented improvements to their movement accuracy, efficiency and attention to tasks at hand. These results were presented at the Virtual Rehabilitation Conference (VR2008) in Vancouver, Canada earlier this month.