MyndVR is helping to reduce loneliness with virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) is starting to gain momentum in healthcare. It’s increasingly being used for training purposes, such as in the operating room and by ophtalmologists. It’s also emerging as a tool to help with mental health conditions like anxiety, by immersing the user in a scenario that would habitually cause them to become anxious, and combining this with therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
MyndVR focus on elderly people, using their technology to reduce social isolation in aging residents in care homes. The US firm has licenced a vast library of licenced VR content to create MyndVR Studios, with the aim of producing therapeutic experiences that positively impact the lives of seniors, veterans, and other groups of people who are at risk of social isolation.
Working in living communities for the elderly, care agencies, state and federal veteran homes, and with elderly individuals living in their own homes, their simulations enable older adults to interact with the outside world, fostering engagement, cognitive wellness, and happiness.
The company has now signed a partnership with Technology for Ageing & Disability (TADWA), an Australian not-for-profit enterprise that will help MyndVR expand into Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania.
As a result TADWA’s occupational therapists and technicians will be able to use customised headsets, care tablets, and MyndVR's content powered by Littlstar, a leading global content distribution network.
TADWA was established in 1984 to help elderly people and those living with disabilities with occupational therapy, home modifications and automation, technology support, assistive technologies, custom equipment, recreational and vehicle mobility solutions.
"At TADWA, our focus is on significantly improving the quality of life of our clients, their caregivers, and families through compassion, technological excellence, and innovation" TADWA CEO Steve Pretzel said.
"Age and disability should not define a person's future or detract from leading a meaningful life. When physical mobility is limited, virtual reality can provide a sense of exploration, adventure, and fun. The MyndVR system provides great content as well as great control functionality.
“With the benefits of VR becoming better understood, we see a huge opportunity for families and particularly residential care facilities to reduce the impacts of isolation and improve the quality of life for residents."
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”