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Is it possible to improve rehabilitation by using VR technologies?

Expertise: User perspective, Tertiary end-users: public sector service organizers, social security systems, insurance companies, Learning & Training, Other technology provider

We are looking for the following organisations: End user organisation, Other

Applications: Health & wellness, Home care, Information and learning, Knowledge Transfer, Other

Looking for partners in the following Countries : Denmark


With a rapidly ageing population, declining workforce and increasing life expectancy, new ways of improving rehabilitation to elderlies are crucial to 1) enable elderlies to live independently lives at home for longer 2) decrease the burden of caregivers and public spending to rehabilitation in the social sector.

With the use of VR glasses in different rehabilitation set-up, Aarhus Municipality wants to test if rehabilitation can be reduced by involving caregivers to integrate VR as an opportunity for the citizens to train by themselves. It seems that VR glasses are easy to use, and can be used either in the citizens’ home or at rehabilitation centres.

Can the use of VR technology for rehabilitation shorten the time to return to the previous function level for the citizen? It is our assumption that VR glasses will give the citizen more independence, better quality of life, and lead to cost savings due to reduced training periods carried out by public caregivers. Thus, the carers can help more citizens with fewer costs.

In what domains will we experiment with VR?

Aarhus Municipality aims to explore the requirements and validate the benefits of implementing VR technology with different types of end-users as a technology in line with others rehabilitation equipment.

We want to choose different areas of rehabilitation that can motivate “self-training”, where no resources from caregivers are needed. We will pick out some of the existing training programmes and experiment with them in e.g. the following test areas:

  • Citizen training of VR, so that the citizen is able to train without help from caregivers
  • User training with VR glasses. When the citizen has become familiar with the use of the technology, the VR glasses will be handed over to the citizen for training outside the normal training
  • Citizens, who are bedridden, can also be included in the training

We have chosen the VR glasses because they are tested and stable, which is important for the practice tests.

Role of partners?

Aarhus Municipality participates as a tertiary end-user together with a Danish SME aiming at “regulated markets” such as health and care, social care, and housing.

Aarhus Municipality aims to explore novel approaches for testing VR technology in different end-user environments in other AAL countries (public and/or private institutions for elderly, private households, rehabilitation centres, etc.)

Every partner chooses an area, where the VR glasses can be tested. Could be:

  • New bedridden patients
  • Citizens with halt-side paralysis will be trained in daily activities as making coffee
  • Citizens with upcoming dementia will be trained in daily activities
  • Common rehabilitation programs such as shoulder and hip operated patients
  • Common weakening after sickness – VR with gaming as an example – engaging and motivating

The number of citizens in the program should be 7 to 10.

The test will take place at a centre for rehabilitation or in the home of the citizen. Is a decision of each project partner – what makes sense for the country. Every partner makes baseline measurements and final measurements.

What are the methods for validating our results?  

A common evaluation design will be developed with:

  • A semi-structured interview with the citizen before and after testing – inspired by COPM (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure)
  • A baseline measurement of the citizen with methods used today, as validated physical part and power measurements
  • Time measurements of the caregiver's resources used together with the citizen (A to A time) and preparation/documentation time etc.
  • The citizens will be divided into two groups – one group gets traditional training, and the other gets both traditional training and training with VR glasses
  • The two groups will be measured
  • Data will be collected and presumptions and findings will be drawn out
  • A business case with quantitative and qualitative data will be made

What is the process for implementation?

A report with instructions of which type of training with VR glasses giving the best effect both for citizens and the caregivers, will be made on the presumptions and findings. A method on how to implement will be suggested with a description of the target group and the training methods. Also, a recommendation for the caregivers in use of the VR glasses with teaching and practising time.

The above-mentioned tests only give conjectures for a business case. The results could be used for more testing within the specific areas, that gives value to the individual country.

Open the market for ICT-solutions: Through the tests, different solutions for rehabilitation will be

explored, and we aim to identify further development within other areas and in additional contexts. ICT

solutions could be developed by companies/specialists within the area.


AAL application domains?

Health & Care, Work & Training, Vitality & Abilities

Contact details


Sonja Hansen
Phone: +45 41872596


Center for Assisted Living Technology, Aarhus Municipality
Søren Frichs Vej 36 G, 8230 Åbyhøj