Robocommuting: A Virtual Presence in The Real World
It is truly wonderful that modern technology is continuing to advance in a way that provides meaningful assistance to people with disabilities. People who were just a few short years ago limited in their ability to interact with the outside world, are now able to more easily form friendships and take advantage of the benefits the outside world has to offer.
Telepresence: How It Works
For people who cannot leave their homes because of some type of incapacity, telepresence is a way to create or continue relationships in the outside world. It works by using a computer interface at the location of the homebound or hospital-bound individual. Depending on the sophistication of the equipment, that person will typically receive a real-time video and audio feed of another location. This may be through a standard home computer, or a more sophisticated piece of technology.
At the other location will be another piece of equipment that is able to record and transmit audio and video. It may be as simple as a video conferencing monitor, or it may be as sophisticated as a machine that transmits an image of the homebound individual and allows that individual to virtually move the machine. This machine is sometimes called an avatar.
This type of technology is particularly useful in giving children with cerebral palsy, who oftentimes have significant difficulties with motor function, a way to stay involved. Children who use a virtual presence can continue to attend school despite hospital stays or other medical care.
Some hospitals even send these telepresence robots home with patients to monitor progress and recovery.
Virtual Environments For Rehabilitation
Another new application for this type of technology is in rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy. One Switzerland-based study examined the use of a virtual environment to further engage children with cerebral palsy during physical therapy. Treadmill training is used to help teach children to walk to strengthen walking capabilities. The creation of a virtual environment can essentially transform the chore of rehabilitation into a goal-based video game, leading to better rehabilitation results.
If your child has a cerebral palsy injury or other birth injury and you would like to know if that injury could have been prevented by your doctor, contact our medical malpractice attorneys at (440) 252-4399 or online for a free consultation. Your child may be entitled to money that can pay for your child’s medical care and therapies.
Image courtesy Hokoma AG