MRC – Dysphagia VR. (Chief Investigator) May 2021 to May 2022
Oropharyngeal Dysphagia (OD) is a swallowing disorder, where it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid safely from your mouth to your stomach and results in reduced quality of life for the individual.
It is anticipated that the VR system would enhance the re-education of the muscles and make swallowing safer and more effective again.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity (Principal Investigator) Start Date TBC
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disease causing muscle weakness and wasting affecting 2,500 people in the UK. International Standards of Care recommend that children with DMD undertake a daily stretching programme to maintain maximum muscle extensibility and optimise function. Children are not motivated to perform these exercises, leading to earlier complications, reduced function and a poorer long-term prognosis.
A VR platform will be developed that will emulate current DMD physiotherapy and we will ask therapists and children to take part in testing.
NIHR - VR Prosthetics (Principal Investigator) August 2017 to June 2022
This project creates and develops a VR prosthetics training facility to help train potential prosthetics wearers more effectively, reduce the number of prostheses rejections and enable greater mastery of prosthetics across a wide range of everyday tasks. This research has the potential to save the NHS clinic time and the cost of the rejection of prosthetics.
MRC - Using Virtual Reality for Rehabilitation of Lower Limbs (Chief Investigator) September 2019 to June 2022
I am leading the development of bespoke Immersive VR scenarios for in-patients in the immediate post-surgery period to encourage them to perform the required physiotherapy exercises. This has the potential to be used in many other areas affecting walking and gait.
MRC - VR upper limb rehab with Sheffield Children’s Hospital. (Chief Investigator) August 2017 to February 2019
I developed immersive VR scenarios for children aged 7+ which would aid the more successful (and relatively painless) achievement of the required limb movements advised by paediatric physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Grow MedTech - Using VR for rehabilitation of upper limbs with Sheffield Children’s Hospital (SCH) (Chief Investigator) September 2019 to May 2021
I lead this follow-on study from the MRC upper limb rehab project, to embed the process with children at SCH and home.
Wellcome Trust - Virtual Reality Prosthetics, body and mind Society Award - (Co-Investigator)
This project engaged the public in biomedical and technological research. As the technical lead, I developed the VR content and ran live demonstrations and presentations at each public event, involving people of all ages.
Dissemination of the work has been widespread. VR projects have been showcased at high-profile Body and Mind exhibitions in local museums, the National Museum of Scotland and the World ParaAthletics Championships in London in July 2017. The combined visitor count from all events was 8,559.
MRC - VR distraction from pain during burns dressings with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (Chief Investigator) August 2016 to December 2017.
This project investigated possible ways of reducing the pain and anxiety experienced by burns victims by using techniques I developed as Immersive VR distraction serious games. A clinical trial conducted with inpatients showed how, during the VR exposure, they experienced considerably less pain and/or anxiety (according to score-ratings of 0 to 100), compared to 'conventional' dressings sessions.
The system helped the patients tolerate the pain, leading to both patients and staff that were eager to use it going forward.
Collaborators and Sponsors
- Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust
- Sheffield Teaching Hospital