Virtual Reality Gait Assessment and Training System

Technology #ua16-098

Title: Virtual Reality Gait Assessment and Training System

 

Invention: The University of Arizona presents a system that combines aerobic and cognitive training utilizing virtual reality (VR). The cognitive training is delivered to the patient via a VR device, currently envisioned as a headset. The patient’s exercise movements translate to perceived navigation via the headset (i.e. as the patient walks on the treadmill, the headset might have the patient experiencing a walk through a forest dictated by their movements). The users are then delivered a cognitive training regimen through the headset (following directions, navigating through a maze, etc).

 

Background: Over sixteen million Americans are currently living with cognitive decline impairments, which can be attributed to aging, injury, stress, and disease. This new technology is designed to combat the effects of cognitive decline by combining cognitive training and exercise. This training method leads to better results on tests associated with healthier brain activity than results achieved via exercise or cognitive training alone. This suggests that combining exercise and cognitive training is a superior way to improve and/or maintain our cognitive abilities.

 

Applications:

  • Physical and cognitive health improvements in the elderly population
  • For use at home or in a gym setting
  • Recreation
  • Detection of cognitive decline
  • Research

 

Advantages:

  • Can be controlled by a physician to adjust the intensity of the exercise
  • Applicable to a variety of hardware configuration (treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc.)
  • Compatible with a variety of software
  • Offers different cognitive training methods, video games, or other experiences within a VR environment
  • Provides superior results by combining exercise and cognitive training
  • Decreases the arduous stigma of typical exercise by stimulating the mind
  • Engaging activities could increase the likelihood of a patient creating more regular exercise habits
  • Increases health and quality of life

 

Licensing Manager:

Rakhi Gibbons

RakhiG@TLA.arizona.edu

(520) 626-6695