It looks like the future is closer than we initially thought as virtual reality simulations have been introduced to work to improve the wellness of patients in a senior living community. A study conducted in a senior living home in Minneapolis has focused on exploring the benefits of virtual reality headsets being used to promote a better mindset and overall general well-being throughout the citizens themselves.

The study received largely positive feedback

The study, which was conducted by Joel Prevost and Chris Mangold, focused on 30 participants who were provided with ten-minute sessions to experience virtual reality through Samsung Gear VR headsets.

After having two ten-minute sessions a week, the participants were then questioned regarding their feelings of wellness. In an overwhelmingly positive response, the seniors explained that they felt generally more relaxed and even experienced prolonged happiness after the simulations had ended. The participants also consolidated their full support of the further use of VR headsets to promote wellness throughout similar communities as many have asked for the company behind the study – Visual – to make the simulations more interactive.

The next steps

With the support of the trial-run behind them, Visual has now released statements saying that they are going to progress their work further to create more realistic and immersive virtual realities.

They are currently looking into creating a "true VR experience" where people will be able to not only interact with their surroundings, but they will also be able to communicate with others at the same time. Whilst this has generated even further interest throughout the wellness and health communities all over the world, the company has reinforced that this will evidently take a lot of further research and development.

It’s no stretch to say that technology is advancing at rather alarmingly fast rates, especially when considering how far we’ve come in the past couple of decades. However, with the use of technology to improve general wellbeing and lifestyle, there’s quite a controversial debate around the topic. On one hand, it could prove to have major benefits that transform our way of living all together, but then there’s also the argument that it’s furthering us as a society from the world that we live in.

It’s time we ask ourselves; is this the future of medicine or has technology gone too far?