Medical costs due to falls are over $50 BILLION each year!
An older adult falls every second, of every day.
With a growing aging population these costs will significantly escalate, unless addressed.
Falls for geriatrics contribute significantly to mortality rates.
Despite the prevalence of balance disorders, identifying underlying causes can traditionally take months to accurately diagnose, delaying effective treatment.
Identifying fall-risk is the first step to prevention.
Our solutions are simpler, faster and accurate.
What is Upright VR?
Upright VR is an immersive VR system for Education, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Balance Impairment
Our virtual reality (VR) software solution offers a 3 pronged approach for clinical treatment of balance impairment
1. Upright VR-EDU combines clinical education and VR simulations for a first-person immersive experience, helping one gain a deeper understanding of the disease.
2. Upright VR-ASSESS takes our technology into the clinician's office, optimizing staff time and providing a fast and accurate real time assessment of patients.
3. Upright VR-REHAB extends the conversation beyond the clinical setting and into the home, by combining the data from our assessment and the clinician's expertise. We pack it all into a rehabilitation plan, easily accessible on your mobile device.
A new way for you to save time and money
Our assessment and rehab modules drastically reduce time to diagnose deficits and track recovery at a fraction of the cost of the clinical gold-standard.
An untapped market potential
Our device has market value in education, clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes, providing low-cost, easy-to use, accessible, sensitive & specific measures for detecting and diagnosing different many types of balance deficits.
An all purpose, portable solution
Clinicians with minimal resources or located in austere environments currently lack the accessible, portable, accurate, objective balance and sensorimotor training and assessment tests that Upright VR provides.
Upright VR - The Science
We are excited because the science behind Upright VR is revolutionary for we believe we are on the cusp of something revolutionary. Read about the theory Upright VR is based off of below.
The Human Balance System
Upright bipedal stance is an incredibly complex behavior, but humans have evolved to perform this task with relatively little effort. However, due to the numerous brain regions that are involved in the integration of sensory and motor information needed for upright stance, it’s possible for even a relatively subtle change in the brain’s processing ability to cause balance difficulties. Whether it’s injury to the central nervous, peripheral nervous, or musculoskeletal system, all of these can cause postural imbalance.
The three primary sensory systems involved in postural control come from the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory input. The visual system is sensitive to cues about the orientation of the head and body relative to earth as well as motion cues, which tells us if we are moving and how fast. The vestibular system is housed in the inner ear and has two types of sensors: the semicircular canals and the otoliths. Together they provide information about whether we are accelerating, rotating, or tilting relative to gravity. The somatosensory system is found throughout the body and tells us where the parts of our body are relative to each other and relative to the earth. When standing, this system tells us where the ground is through sensors in the soles of our feet, while sensors in all of our muscles, tendons, and joints tell us the position and orientation of our many body parts (e.g. kinesthetic sense).
All of this sensory information travels to the spinal cord where it either automatically gets sent back to the muscles to help keep the body upright, or it’s sent to the brain where it’s processed and relayed back to the muscles for balancing, walking, or making voluntary movements. Much of the sensory input is processed without conscious awareness, which is why standing is often performed so effortlessly.
Despite the relative ease that most humans stand on their feet, it is possible to measure small differences in postural stability. A clinician can be trained to visually detect deficits in balance, but even a proud parent is able to detect the obvious progression in balancing skills as their child learns to walk. However, to objectively measure small changes in balance, sensitive posturography equipment is required. The virtual reality-based solution we have devised is designed to allow for objective quantification of balance after injury, disease, or even across healthy aging. This unique approach tests and challenges the postural control system and allows for sensitive and specific identification of the causes of balance deficits, can be used to track recovery, and can then be used to help prescribe treatment or guide preventative training regimens.
- Dr. W. Geoffrey Wright
Director, Neuromotor Sciences Program