MyndVR Forms National Research Coalition to Study Virtual Reality and the Aging Mind
DALLAS, October 16, 2018 – MyndVR, a tech, health and wellness company specializing in virtual reality (VR) solutions for people 55-plus, is pleased to announce the formation of the MyndVR Science Advisory Board and a national research coalition involving researchers from universities across the nation.
MyndVR has deployed its technology in more than 18 states serving tens of thousands of seniors. The company, which focuses on improving the quality of life and wellness for older adults, has observed the positive impact VR has on seniors across the continuum of care, including an improvement in mood and overall sense of happiness, as well as decreased agitation and stress.
The research coalition will study the medical efficacy of VR on seniors with and without age-related conditions. The independent researchers have autonomy in the design of their studies and include teams from Indiana University – Eskenazi Center for Brain Care; The University of Texas at Dallas – Center for BrainHealth®; Florida Atlantic University – Visual Mind Lab; University of Pennsylvania – School of Nursing; Panola College – Occupational Therapy Assistant Program; and St. Barnabas Health System in the Pittsburgh area.
“There is a body of medical-based VR research out there, but there’s a void in research at the intersection of virtual reality and the aging mind,” said Chris Brickler, CEO and co-founder of MyndVR. “We are elated to provide our curated content, senior-friendly user interface and customized hardware to these innovative research partners. We have seen firsthand the positive impact VR has on seniors and look forward to the results of these studies. We hope to inspire a legion of researchers and universities to fill this void and join the coalition.”
Dr. Joseph Maroon, clinical professor and neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has recently joined the MyndVR Advisory Board and will supervise the study at St. Barnabas. His team will track the benefits of VR on mood and overall well-being for seniors experiencing agitation, depression, anxiety and memory loss.
“I’m encouraged and optimistic that the studies will show the feasibility of virtual reality helping seniors,” said Maroon. “The unique application of this fantastic technology should bring significant benefits to the elderly population that has been neglected in the past. MyndVR has done a wonderful job introducing seniors to this technology, and we hope to find out how it enhances their cognitive wellness through our research surveys.”
Dr. Walter Greenleaf, distinguished visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has more than 30 years of experience working with VR. As an expert on the use of VR technology in the field of health and wellness, Dr. Greenleaf recently joined the MyndVR Advisory Board to contribute his extensive knowledge and bring awareness to a growing industry.
“MyndVR is doing it right – this will be a significant and personally meaningful project for me,” said Greenleaf. “There is a lack of awareness regarding the benefits of VR. I truly appreciate the creative approach that MyndVR is taking by licensing and developing content for seniors. They are determining what is effective and taking the time to carefully curate content and develop a senior-friendly interface. Kudos to them for validating the effectiveness of their approach through research. I am pleased to see the growing coalition of research scientists engaged and look forward to helping in any way I can.”
MyndVR is also honored to have such prestigious board members that include Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Director of Medical Virtual Reality at USC; Dr. Sandra Chapman, Founder and Chief Director of the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas; and Dr. Ryan McMahan, Computer Science, University of Texas at Dallas.