It was reality, but not as we know it, for MSP George Adam as he gave virtual reality a try, courtesy of Sue Ryder.
The charity, which operates Sue Ryder Dee View Court, Scotland’s only specialist residential care centre for people living with complex neurological conditions, such as Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and acquired brain injuries, uses virtual reality as a form of therapy for its patients.
The system, which was specially developed for Sue Ryder Dee View Court users by tech company Immersicare allows residents to find themselves in places they may not be able to visit, such as the beach, jungle or outer space. Its impact has been so positive that the system is now being rolled out to all of Sue Ryder’s neurological care centres.
George, who is the SNP MSP for Paisley, said: “New technology has a place in healthcare. This is one of the simplest examples of this but the virtual reality technology is far from simple. The benefits of this type of technology can only expand. In this age when we experience and are aware of stories about the down side of new technology we should recognise the almost unlimited potential that can and will be discovered for the benefit of all.”
Pamela Mackenzie, Director of Neurological Care and Scotland at Sue Ryder, said: “Early evidence from the team at Sue Ryder Dee View Court shows that use of virtual reality by people with neurological conditions is helping to lower blood pressure and pain levels as well as boosting mood and wellbeing.
“As we eagerly await the Scottish Government’s National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions, it seems like a good time to share with others the innovative technology we are using with our service users to improve their quality of life.”
Photo: George Adam attended a Sue Ryder VR Presentation at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 30th October 2018
Photo Credit: Colin Hattersley
Public Health and Wellbeing Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “The use of virtual reality technology to help people with neurological conditions is a great example of innovation in health and social care. I commend Sue Ryder for this and the wider work they do in supporting people living with these conditions.
“The Scottish Government wants to ensure that people living with neurological conditions have access to the best possible care and support across the country. We have worked in partnership with the neurological community to develop Scotland’s first ever National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions. We will publish the draft plan in the coming weeks for public consultation and I would encourage everyone to provide their views.”