WIMI Hologram Academy: The Application of Virtual Reality technology in pulmonary function rehabilitation in COVID-19 patients

HONG KONG, Sept. 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WIMI Hologram Academy, working in partnership with the Holographic Science Innovation Center, has written a new technical article describing their research on the Application of Virtual Reality technology in pulmonary function rehabilitation in COVID-19 patients. This article follows below:

Coronavirus disease 2019, also named COVID-19, is a newly emerging acute respiratory infection that mainly invades the respiratory tract. It invades some other organ systems, especially the lung mainly, including the heart, gastrointestinal tract, kidney, lymphoid tissue, blood, and so on. It has spread around the world and has caused a large number of infections. The sequelae of COVID-19 patients are various, and the most common sequelae include respiratory and circulatory sequelae, neurological sequelae, and psychological & cognitive impairment-related sequelae. There is no evidence that patients with COVID-19 will have a long-term delayed injury after recovery, referred to as Post Covid Syndrome, PCS. The occurrence of this syndrome seriously affects the quality of life of the survivors and has gradually attracted much attention, and effective rehabilitation treatment can alleviate the occurrence of these symptoms.

Patients with COVID-19, especially those who need a high degree of care, have a high demand for physical, psychological, and cognitive rehabilitation. The timely and appropriate use of rehabilitation treatment will be conducive to eliminating the sequelae of COVID-19 and promoting the recovery of the patient's cardiopulmonary function. However, due to the lack of resources needed to provide rehabilitation treatment at the present stage, it is difficult to implement post-COVID-19 rehabilitation. Scientists from WIMI Hologram Academy of WIMI Hologram Cloud Inc.(NASDAQ: WIMI), have been studying the Application of Virtual Reality technology in pulmonary function rehabilitation in COVID-19 patients.

1. Remote rehabilitation mode

Telemedicine, the use of electronic communication technology to provide care for patients without physical contact, is now used in large-scale patient screening, remote clinical consultation, and supervision of patient care. Telemedicine is more convenient and better patient-centered, helping to improve the level of the healthcare system. The telemedicine sector includes remote home care, teletutoring and telerehabilitation, and the provision of relevant medical education. As COVID-19 spreads, telerehabilitation is becoming more common. Such home telemedicine service can reduce hospitalization rates and emergency visits, and can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, reduce the pressure on health care and health institutions while ensuring the continuity of rehabilitation.

Decreased cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance is one of the most common symptoms seen in convalescent patients with COVID-19. The 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) is an important indicator to assess cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance. The follow-up of COVID-19 patients at 3 months after discharge showed that the 6MWT distance was significantly lower than that of healthy people of similar age; However, patients with more severe illness during the acute infection period had more reduced 6MWT distance at 6 months after discharge. The investigators performed pulmonary rehabilitation training on 55 patients requiring pulmonary rehabilitation and with better compliance. Patients were divided into two groups, the control group adopted traditional pulmonary rehabilitation strategies according to the "4S" rehabilitation principle, and the other group adopted telemedicine to manage the pulmonary rehabilitation of patients. Compared with the pulmonary rehabilitation effect of the two groups, 6MWT, MEP, MIP, and other indicators were evaluated. The results proved that the pulmonary rehabilitation training of COVID-19 patients was conducive to the recovery of respiratory muscle strength and lung function, the pulmonary rehabilitation effect under telemedicine management was better, and the rehabilitation plan was effective, safe, and feasible. Telemedicine may play a major role in the "post-COVID-19 era".

2. Virtual reality technology

Virtual reality technology is a technology that provides nearly real and credible experiences synthetically or virtually. In practice, virtual reality is a combination of specialized hardware and software. The continuous and rapid development of virtual reality technology is also used as an important way of remote rehabilitation. It consists of a head-mounted display (HMD), which can bring users into an immersive, realistic, multi-sensory environment through computer-generated visual effects. There are four types of virtual reality: immersive virtual reality, desktop virtual reality, also known as non-immersive augmented virtual reality, and simulated virtual reality. VR is "images and environments with real-time interaction, fully artificial computer simulation", widely used for realistic reproduction of human structures, pathophysiology, and clinical scenarios. The nature of immersion has important practical implications in pulmonary rehabilitation, where patients can be more involved. The construction scenario can promote patients '"attention shift" and can distract patients' negative feelings (e. g., fatigue, dyspnea) during physical activity.

3. The Application of virtual reality technology in pulmonary rehabilitation

The long-term impact of COVID-19 as a brand new disease on lung parenchyma and lung function remains an open question, and studies have shown that some survivors have severe pulmonary sequelae (pulmonary consolidation and pulmonary fibrosis). Most survivors can return to work and normal life, but a significant number still have dead-like ventilation and diffusion function. While pulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary intervention based on personalized assessment and treatment, aiming to improve the physical and psychological condition of patients with respiratory diseases. Through virtual reality technology, telemedicine services in pulmonary rehabilitation have been successfully launched.

Studies show that the use of virtual reality during rehabilitation changes patient participation in treatment, and, unlike monotonous exercise, patients will experience an interesting world in a VR environment, thus stimulating their motivation to recover. For chronic patients, such as chronic COPD patients, this is also crucial. It is well known that the rehabilitation basis for patients with COPD is based on endurance training, which often accompanies patients for a long time to prevent disease progression. Therefore, using VR technology will stimulate patients' enthusiasm and initiative in rehabilitation. On the other hand, the use of mixed virtual reality makes it possible to generate trained projections/images that are available as a source of autonomous rehabilitation training. Studies have shown that VR interventions cause lower levels of oxygen consumption as compared to traditional pulmonary rehabilitation and that the VR intervention does not cause severe dyspnea. In addition, the technical perspective of VR used for COPD rehabilitation was analyzed. Although the duration of the rehabilitation program (2 to 8 weeks) and the evaluation parameters were varied, they all proved that VR-based rehabilitation training is beneficial to the pulmonary function recovery of COPD patients.

VR-based pulmonary function rehabilitation training is feasible and safe for patients, and VR technology can create a new environment for patients, thereby increasing patient engagement and thus improving physical activity levels. In addition, in today's long-term situation of COVID-19, a substitute for in-hospital rehabilitation is crucial.

Founded in August 2020, WIMI Hologram Academy is dedicated to holographic AI vision exploration and researches basic science and innovative technologies, driven by human vision. The Holographic Science Innovation Center, in partnership with WIMI Hologram Academy, is committed to exploring the unknown technology of holographic AI vision, attracting, gathering, and integrating relevant global resources and superior forces, promoting comprehensive innovation with scientific and technological innovation as the core, and carrying out basic science and innovative technology research.

Holographic Science Innovation Center
Email: pr@holo-science.com