UAE Introduces Virtual Reality to Treat Stroke Patients

The UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a project within the Centennial Plan 2071. The plan involves virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation in physiotherapy for stroke patients, patients suffering from balance disorder and children with developmental disorders, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s syndrome. Ministry of Health and Prevention said VR rehabilitation technology uses the virtual world to meet various requirements for effective medical intervention.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced various plans to introduce Virtual Reality (VR) rehabilitation in physiotherapy. This will be used for stroke patients, patients suffering from balance disorder and children with developmental disorders, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s syndrome. The ministry said VR rehabilitation technology makes use of virtual world simulation. This meets various requirements for effective medical intervention. It achieves the best results using the video game controller and the moving sensor.

State News Agency WAM reported that Scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of this innovative technique in the rehabilitation and treatment of many cases. It also added that the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI) aims to build creative and innovative work environments.

Dr. Yousif Mohammed Al Serkal, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Hospital Sector, said that the ministry is fully integrated from artificial intelligence into medical services. He also said that the use of VR allows the patient to complete the treatment at home with the possibility of remote rehabilitation. The treatment of stroke, the virtual reality system evaluates and enhances the recovery of the affected upper parts, in addition to the training for the walking device used for rehabilitation.

VR Games are developed specially for rehabilitation in physiatrics for patients of stroke, brain disorder, and similar conditions. This report is given by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap). It rolls out the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) in hospitals. The AI system is already in use in Ras Al Khaimah physiotherapy and Sports Centre and will be rolled out soon in all other ministry hospitals.

“Games are developed for rehabilitation of such patients, for both children and adults. Particularly, the patients who are affected by brain disorder and motor delay conditions are the beneficiary,” Dr. Yousif Mohammed Al Serkal, assistant undersecretary for the hospital sector, told Khaleej Times. “The AI system consists of 3 components – a TV set, a sensory kinetic bar and an X-Box linked. Certain games are used to assess how cognitive a patient is,” he said.

A therapist will always be present to monitor these sessions of patients and will assess their conditions. He additionally explained the benefits of VR using AI in physiotherapy to provide treatment. “This will allow the patient to complete the treatment at his/her home with the possibility of remote rehabilitation,” he said.
“The patient moves at a speed on the motion platform ever-changing virtual environments being displayed on the front screen to simulate daily activities. Within the treatment of the balance disorder, Virtual Reality is a safe and effective alternative to conventional therapy. It improves the balance in patients,” he said.

“Patients have reported that they enjoyed VR therapy without suffering from side effects, and with increased motivation. “This technique is also used to treat children with developmental disorders. It includes positive developments in both perceived and performance capabilities in areas of daily activities. This includes social activities that they have not been able to do before.”

The virtual medical care assists brain disorder patients within the reorganization of the brain and movement ability and visual cognitive skills, in addition to social participation and personal factors. Healthcare industry stands to gain and inducting artificial intelligence into various processes. This technology can take the fear out of procedures and make treatments more effective. The UAE has been experimenting on this front and results are encouraging so far. Innovation through AI is changing into a lot of meaning with its human-centric approach and the medical experts are now looking at expanding its scope.

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