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Re-Imagining Rehabilitation for Seniors Heartland Health Care Center-Moline Using Computer Generated “Virtual Reality” System t


Submitted by Heartland Health Care Center – Moline

Seeking to enhance physical rehabilitation for patients, Heartland Health Care Center in Moline has recently installed a “virtual” rehabilitation system for aging adults in their therapy department. Called the OmniVRTM, this technology is making the rehabilitation process more fun and exciting for patients.

The OmniVR uses a 3D camera to capture the patient’s image and converts it into an “avatar” which is introduced into a game-like environment displayed on a large color monitor. With the guidance of a therapist, patients participate in a variety of “interactive” exercises and activities selected for the individual’s specific condition or physical challenge. The programs focus on strength, balance, mobility, walking, endurance, and memory. “Our patients truly enjoy it,” said Sunita Nair, Director of Rehabilitation for Heartland Health Care Center – Moline. “It gives them something fun and entertaining to do that achieves the same therapeutic goal… and with some people, inspires them to do things they might not ordinarily try.”

OmniVR has been developed specifically for people with physical limitations, and is easier for elderly people to use. The graphics are less complicated and no special platforms or hand controllers are needed. The system also provides positive reinforcement rather than a “win-lose” approach, which can be discouraging for people who are trying to overcome physical challenges. Equally important, the system is focused on professional therapy applications rather than the recreational focus of traditional video game systems.

“We have a very sophisticated patient population that is eager to embrace the latest medical tools and technologies on the road toward a speedy recovery,” said, Nair. “We’ve seen that when patients are motivated and having fun they tend to put more effort into the exercise, which can help improve recovery and ultimately results in returning patients back to their homes.”

Heartland Health Care Center, located at 833 16th Ave., Moline, IL is part of the HCR ManorCare family. The HCR ManorCare health care family comprises centers that are leading providers of short-term post-acute services and long-term care. With 60,000 caregivers nationwide, the HCR ManorCare centers are preeminent care providers in their communities. Quality care for patients and residents is provided through a network of more than 500 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and hospice and home health care agencies. These locations operate primarily under the respected Heartland, ManorCare Health Services and Arden Courts names.

For more information on healthy eating, contact Jodi Mines, Admissions Director-309-764-6744 or 309-756-8315.