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Groundbreaking Study Indicates Virtual Reality Can Enhance Relationships Between Caregivers and Aging Population

Research conducted by Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab in collaboration with Mynd Immersive and AT&T 5G Healthcare 

PALO ALTO, Calif. and DALLAS, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Virtual Reality (VR) technology is not just for the young. It’s paving the way for enhancing relationships between the aging population and their caregivers, as research from the Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at Stanford University demonstrates. 

This research comes just months after the American Medical Association issued CPT codes that recognize VR for various therapeutic services, a major milestone for the growth of digital therapeutics.

The study sought to understand older adults’ attitudes towards new technologies, including virtual reality, and how professional caregivers felt about facilitating VR experiences for older adults. Research was led by Dr. Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the VHIL and one of the world’s leading experts on understanding and exploring individual behavior and social responses in VR, and Ryan Christopher Moore, Ph.D. researcher.

“This study showcases how a tool which is typically associated with youthful entertainment has transformative applications in healthcare, particularly geriatric care,” said Dr. Bailenson. “The response from both the caregivers and seniors has been quite positive, suggesting 
that VR can be a sustainable and beneficial tool in Senior Care communities.” 

Key findings include that 81.5% of caregivers reported they enjoyed interacting with residents more while using Mynd Immersive (Mynd), formerly MyndVR than while doing other activities, and 94.9% said that using Mynd was moderately to extremely beneficial to their relationship with the resident. Similarly, 83% of residents reported that using Mynd was moderately to extremely beneficial to their relationship with the caregiving staff.   

The study also found: 

  • 74.2% of the caregivers reported that the residents’ mood improved after using Mynd, and 79.2% of the residents reported feeling more positive 
  • 57.9% of older adults reported feeling less isolated from the outside world after using Mynd 
  • While positive attitudes towards new technology often decline with age, the study population overwhelmingly felt positive about using VR and the decline in attitude was less than compared to other technologies like cell phones and voice assistants 

“Shared experiences in VR, like revisiting a senior’s hometown or traveling to a place they’ve always wanted to see, can stimulate greater communication, bridge emotional gaps, and create deeper bonds,” said Chris Brickler, CEO of Mynd Immersive. “We are experiencing explosive growth of our aging population, while simultaneously seeing a significant decline in available caregivers, so it’s imperative that we create tools like Mynd that can help create a more enjoyable and fulfilling environment for both the cared and caregiver.” 

Mynd has brought together a powerful consortium of industry collaborators to support this research and beyond, including AT&T, HTC VIVE, Select Rehabilitation, and some of the world’s most innovative senior living communities, such as John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, Florida, Commonwealth Senior Living, Sodalis Senior Living, Long Island State Veteran Home and more. 

“We’re entering a new era of delivering immersive, digital therapeutics,” said Joe Drygas, Head of AT&T Healthcare. “The combination of XR experiences with 5G and AI will have a tremendous impact on the many ways we can provide top quality care for our elders and support their caregivers. The Mynd Immersive and AT&T collaboration is bringing the future of connected healthcare into sharp focus for older adults and their families.”

“We launched HTC VIVE with a belief that VR could positively impact humanity,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman of HTC. “This type of data from industry partners like Mynd and esteemed independent researchers, such as Stanford University, further supports our belief and moves the entire industry forward.” 

Stanford’s pioneering lab, focused on the psychological and behavioral effects of virtual reality, conducted a survey of 245 older adults and 39 caregivers in 16 Senior Care communities across 10 states. The study, the largest ever conducted on VR and older adults, was done in collaboration with Mynd, the leading provider of immersive therapeutic experiences for the aging population.  

The study has already won a “Top Paper Award” by the National Communication Association and will be presented at their upcoming annual convention. The paper has also been accepted by the journal, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and will be published later in 2023. 

About Mynd Immersive 

Mynd Immersive, formerly MyndVR, is the leading provider of immersive therapeutics for senior living communities, home care agencies, Veteran homes, and adults aging at home in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Mynd is building the most advanced portfolio of original and licensed therapeutic VR content that enables older adults to interact with the outside world in innovative ways that promote engagement, wellness, and positive outcomes. Mynd also co-created DigitalTherapyNOW.org – a purpose-driven coalition of academic and industry partners designed to educate lawmakers and bring awareness to the Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act of 2023. For more, visit MyndVR.com.  

*About AT&T  

We help more than 100 million U.S. families, friends and neighbors, plus nearly 2.5 million businesses, connect to greater possibility. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to our 5G wireless and multi-gig internet offerings today, we @ATT innovate to improve lives. For more information about AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), please visit us at about.att.com. Investors can learn more at investors.att.com.

To learn more about AT&T Business and 5G Connectivity, please visit business.att.com.

About HTC VIVE 

HTC VIVE is the premier virtual reality (VR) platform and ecosystem that creates true-to-life VR experiences for businesses and consumers. The VIVE ecosystem is built around premium VR hardware, software, and content. The VIVE business encompasses best-in-class XR hardware; VIVEPORT platform and app store; VIVE Enterprise Solutions for business customers; VIVE X, a US$100M VR business accelerator; and VIVE ARTS for cultural initiatives. For more information, please visit www.vive.com

CONTACT: [email protected] 

SOURCE MyndVR Inc.

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/groundbreaking-study-indicates-virtual-reality-can-enhance-relationships-between-caregivers-and-aging-population-301980986.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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