Introducing Virtual Reality to the Healthcare Industry

The virtual environment means our service users will have access to incredible workout opportunities without having to leave the premises.

How Equilibrium Healthcare are empowering service users with virtual reality

The healthcare industry is one of the ten biggest industries by revenue in the UK. With over 68 million people in the UK accessing healthcare, now is the time to invest in innovative solutions and provide intelligent healthcare to service users. That is exactly what we are doing here at Equilibrium, Healthcare with the implementation of VR – Virtual Reality across our services in Manchester.

What is “VR” – Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment. Loosely put, VR enables the user to access an environment without having to physically be there. Users can be placed into an interactive, virtual experience or environment which immerses the senses. 

VR is made possible by the creation of an environment that is played through a screen in a headset. Users can use headphones to enhance their experience and engage their senses further – providing a more enjoyable, realistic experience. 

How is VR being used in healthcare? 

Throughout 2020 and into 2021 VR has begun to make its way into the medical industry, with many healthcare sectors investing in this equipment to enhance service user satisfaction. 

VR has been used across medical sectors to allow patients to be taken through medical procedures and surgical plans by stepping into a patient-specific VR reconstruction. The aim is to ease patient worries, allow them to have a better understanding of their treatment plans and make the patient feel involved when it comes to healthcare. 

Not only is VR helping patients in the industry, but it is also providing healthcare professionals with access to first-class training. Healthcare professionals have been using VR to strengthen skills, training in the use of new techniques and even work on their bedside manner and procedures. 

How will VR evolve? 

VR is continually evolving, developing and becoming more innovative as the days pass. As the development of VR continues, we can provide services users with more realistic and immersive experiences within healthcare. It is even rumoured that by 2025, VR contact lenses will be available to further improve user experience. 

Investment into VR is soaring and users continue to boom with a prediction to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022. Demand for VR devices is growing considerably with projected sales at over 30 million units annually by the end of 2023. It isn’t surprising that many businesses across a wide range of sectors are implementing VR into their day to day operations. 

How is Equilibrium Healthcare going to use VR?

At Equilibrium Healthcare we aim to use technology to increase service user experience, enhance wellness and provide a service unlike any other. We are proud to be implementing VR within our wellness centre, situated at our Eleanor site, with the intention of implementing such technology across all of our services soon. 

We will be starting our VR journey by creating a state of the art, innovative virtual reality gym. VR fitness immerses our service users into a virtual workout environment, with their body becoming the controller. The virtual environment means our service users will have access to incredible workout opportunities without having to leave the premises. 

We are working in partnership with digital experts, Silverchip, a Manchester based technology company. The partnership will see the creation of an intuitive, extraordinary and state of the art piece of equipment which will empower services users and increase physical activity. Co-Founder and COO at Silverchip, Jamie McMullan said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with Equilibrium Healthcare to design, develop, and implement a bespoke virtual gym at their private mental health facility. Their eagerness to incorporate virtual reality with physical activity really pushes the boundaries of healthcare innovation by offering fully immersive, personalised and engaging virtual reality workouts for service users. The possibilities are infinite, blending the physical with the virtual world with more gamification to be included in further phases of the VR gym.”

How will VR fitness empower our service users?

Ultimately the implementation of VR fitness across our services is aimed to improve mental health and wellbeing, empower service users by giving them the freedom to take care of their wellness programme independently and help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression and cognitive function. 

There are many benefits to exercise stretching across physical, mental and emotional. A recent study found that daily physical activity reduces the risk of depression and even dementia in adults by up to 30%. 

At Equilibrium Healthcare we encourage physical activity and highlight the benefits of exercise across all services. Service users can see improvements such as; improved sleep, stress relief, increased energy, an increase in mental alertness and of course improved physical health. CEO of Equilibrium HeDevan Moodley states, “Eleanor is developing a completely patient centric service, catering for all aspects of patient care. A vital component of care is physical activity and Eleanor is groundbreaking in its provision of opportunities to promote and participate in physical activity. The implementation of the Virtual reality gym is a first in the UK for mental health services and marks the beginning of many innovative and exciting developments on our horizon.”

The development of the virtual reality gym is well underway and we are excited to implement this innovative, life-changing technology across selected services this Summer. To find out more about our virtual reality gym, or the new facilities available with Equilibrium Healthcare visit our technology page here:

Related Articles

Effective Care Planning Within an Inpatient Setting

Effective Care Planning Within an Inpatient Setting

Successful treatment of mental health requires a patient centred and holistic approach to treatment. One way of ensuring treatment is, in fact, patient centred is with the implementation of joint care plans.     Today we will be taking a closer look at what a care plan is and how you can implement it effectively within an inpatient setting.     What is a Care Plan?    Before we discuss the formation of a care plan within your service, we must first define a care plan and what it means in the...

read more
Optimising Staffing in Female Personality Disorder Units

Optimising Staffing in Female Personality Disorder Units

Care Quality Commission (CQC) KLOE 's are a set of standardised guidelines to assess the effectiveness, safety, and quality of healthcare settings. The Caring domain ensures that services are effective in treating patients with compassion, respect, and empathy. One of the key considerations under this domain for mental health inpatient services caring for females diagnosed with personality disorders is staffing. The Cochrane Systematic Review (Bowers et al, 2014) offers evidence to support the...

read more
Dignity and Respect: A Mindful Consideration for Mental Health Professionals

Dignity and Respect: A Mindful Consideration for Mental Health Professionals

It is every person’s fundamental right to be treated with dignity and respect, to have their wants and preferences recognized, and to have all that contributes to their perceived well-being, acknowledged. At Equilibrium Healthcare we make this one of our most fundamental core values and practices. But what is dignity and respect? And how can we as mental health professionals ensure that these rights are nurtured and maintained within a care home setting?   Today we will be discussing...

read more