University of Birmingham's virtual reality expertise featured in ITV News report

Can virtual reality help patients recover from major surgery? ITV News recently set out to learn more about this when they reported on the University of Birmingham’s Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team’s work with medical professionals and patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

The video report highlighted how the team has spent the past three years developing a ‘Virtual Wembury’, a detailed recreation of the Devon coastal path. Using the latest virtual reality technology, patients recovering from major surgery can enjoy a ‘cycle’ through the attractive environment from their hospital beds.

The HIT Team chose to create a virtual Wembury because it is close to heart of Professor Robert Stone, the team’s director. Professor Stone was born and bred in the area and so was well-placed to use his 30 years of virtual reality expertise to recreate the picturesque Devon environment in virtual form.

The virtual reality programme is being trialled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital alongside traditional rehabilitation techniques. Initial feedback is positive, with patients enjoying having the chance to engage in an activity outside of the hospital walls. If the trial is successful, it is hoped other hospitals across the UK might start to incorporate virtual reality into their rehabilitation programmes.     

To watch the full video report, please visit the ITV News website.