Completion of Stroke Patient Pilot Testing Using Immersive Virtual Reality (VR)

The Virtual Activities of Living for Occupational Rehabilitation (VALOR) project enables telehealth delivery of evidence-based upper extremity stroke therapy in a patient’s home. The Barron Associates-developed product combines innovative use of low-cost immersive VR headset technology with software for computer-guided practice of activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs (IADLs). VALOR will be the only immersive VR therapy system for UE rehabilitation that involves realistic ADLs and IADLs. In November 2023, a pilot study was completed involving 16 stroke patients who used the VALOR software to practice a range of activities including picking vegetables in a garden, caring for a pet, putting away clothes, and feeding a horse. Ongoing analysis will determine if automated metrics generated by the VR therapy system correlate to gold-standard measures of a patient’s motor status. Analysis will also investigate system usability and whether users experience cyber sickness symptoms. The program is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health under grant 1R43HD107718-01.