Virtual Reality in Rehabilitation of COVID-19 Patients

COVID Virtual Reality Rehabilitation

The novel human coronavirus disease COVID-19 has become the fifth documented pandemic since the 1918 flu pandemic. COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China, and subsequently spread worldwide. In March 2020, COVID-19 was officially announced a global pandemic because of barreling 114 countries. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered significant mortality increases in 2020 of a magnitude not witnessed since World War II in Western Europe or the breakup of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. Near 226,000,000 have been infected with and 4,600,000 have been reported to die because of COVID-19. Post-COVID-19 patients, particularly those who needed high care, are expected to have high needs for physical, psychological and cognitive rehabilitation. Several studies on VR show its potential for rehabilitation and suggest VR to be beneficial in post-COVID-19. The immersion of VR may increase therapy adherence and may distract the patient from experienced fatigue and anxiety. A VR program implemented on a COVID-19 rehabilitation unit for patients and healthcare providers was rated as highly satisfactory with perceived benefit by survey respondents. Participants commented that the use of VR was useful in coping with isolation and loneliness, and could be implemented within the context of clinical care for COVID-19 patients as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation model.

In two clinical research projects, researchers from Recovery Tech have revealed some new findings about COVID-19-related strokes and post-COVID stroke rehabilitation using our product.

Characteristics and Outcomes of COVID-19 Related Stroke: A Cohort Study

Abstract—Background: Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is a neurological side effect of COVID-19 disease wit high rate in pandemics. Effect of COVID-19 disease on disorder is unclear. In this cohort, patients with COVID-19 disease were assessed. Materials and methods: 60 CVA cases were assessed in a referral hospital in 2020. The major factor was mortality and the cases were those with and without death. The groups were compared for all features about mortality in the patients with COVID-19 and CVA. Results: Totally 23 out of 60 cases (38.3%) were expired. In univariate analysis there was significant association for death by ischemic heart disease (P = 0.015), high-severity stroke (P = 0.012), high CRP (P = 0.001), high ESR (P = 0.009), pleural effusion (P = 0.005), pericardial effusion (P = 0.027), cardiomegaly (P = 0.005), ground glass opacity (P = 0.001), and consolidation (P = 0.001). Among these factors, there was significant association only for C reactive protein (CRP) (P = 0.001) and consolidation (P = 0.003) in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Mortality in the cases with COVID-19-related CVA is one-third and it has relationship to elevated CRP and finding the consolidation in the computerized tomography scan of the lungs.

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Virtual Reality for Post COVID-19 Stroke: A Case report

Abstract—COVID-19 has been associated with stroke and neurological complications. The patient was a59-year- old male presentedwith sudden left hemiparesisand diplopiadue to cavernous sinus thrombosis (CST) on 28/03/2020. The COVID-19 test was positive. Multislice CT (MSCT)showed ischemic infarction. He underwent surgical sinectomy 9 days after admission. Physiotherapybegan for him on August 2020. Our game-based virtual reality (VR) technologydeveloped for stroke patients was based on upper extremity exercisesand function for stroke. After 6 weeks of VR therapy plusconventional physiotherapy exercises(18 sessions, three times per week, 60 minutes each session),there were significant improvements in Brunnstrom Motor Recovery Stage (from “4” to “5”),Fugl-Meyer Scale score of upper extremity section (from 49to 54), and Modified Barthel Index (from15 to 18). There were no adverse effects. This case with stroke post COVID-19 due to the CST showed the usefulness of VR therapy used as an adjunct to conventional physiotherapy in improving affected upper extremity.

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