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Virtual Reality Medical Technology Soon Available for Troops

istockCutting-edge virtual reality medical technology will soon be available for patients at the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence, which will hold its ribbon cutting ceremony June 24, according to the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Developed by video and voice communication solutions companies Motek Medical and Polycom Telemedicine Solutions, the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment system will allow the use of virtual reality to be incorporated into the care of wounded warriors and may assist in the return to duty and/or the reintegration process, said Sarah E. Kruger, a biomedical engineer and the CAREN operator for NICoE.

With the new system, patients will be able to work through a variety of skills after experiencing traumatic injuries, including post-traumatic stress symptoms, through a very carefully monitored virtual environment.

“The CAREN system contains an instrumented treadmill embedded into a six degree-of-freedom motion platform that synchronizes in real-time with a virtual environment projected onto a large, curved screen,” Kruger said.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 44 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with psychological conditions, and service members who have served back-to-back deployments often show signs of PTSD and TBI.

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