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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People: Isabel Van De Keere, Immersive Rehab

CEO and founder, Immersive Rehab

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
DR Isabel Van De Keere
DR Isabel Van De Keere
If there was a physio clinic in the gym, with VR equipment, patients might be more motivated to do their exercises

Immersive’ is the buzzword in fitness at the moment, as gyms and suppliers strive to find new ways to make people forget they’re exercising. Now, healthtech entrepreneur Dr Isabel Van De Keere is applying the same principle to the area of rehabilitation.

Last year the former medical technology consultant founded Immersive Rehab – a startup that creates virtual reality (VR) games designed to increase the effectiveness of physical rehabilitation after injury.

“Traditional physiotherapy is quite boring for the patient,” says Dr Van De Keere. “People get demotivated and frustrated.”

On the gym floor
This is particularly true for injured gym-goers. Many are non-compliant with the physiotherapist-prescribed exercises they need to do to get back into action – further delaying their recovery. But Dr Van De Keere believes that the introduction of VR machines in gyms could change this.

“When physios give patients an exercise to do at home, most people don’t do it. But if there was a physio clinic in the gym, with VR equipment, people might be more motivated to do their prescribed exercises there. That way they can still go to the gym, so they don’t lose their routine. They won’t be doing their normal programme, but they’ll be getting rehabilitated in a fun and engaging way.”

Dr Van De Keere explains that with virtual reality games, patients become motivated to challenge themselves further than they would in a normal physio session.

“You can really mix up the way exercises are delivered,” she says. “And because patients are inside the virtual environment, they feel empowered. It takes them out of the white-walled, clinical environment and puts them somewhere new and interesting. It also gives them a sense of control over their surroundings.”

VR in the future
While Dr Van De Keere’s software is currently aimed at helping patients who have suffered from neurological trauma, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, she has also worked with athletes including Paralympic rower David Smith, and says the potential for treating sports and exercise injuries is high.

“For athletes who are injured and can’t be out there playing their sport, it can be depressing. In VR they can be on a virtual football pitch, for example, doing their rehab exercises with a virtual ball. It strengthens their mental state and is more motivating than doing those exercises within the four white walls of a physio clinic.”

Unsurprisingly, Dr Van De Keere is also a big believer in VR as a tool to get people more active.

“The headsets will become more comfortable and will be more like normal glasses at some point. It will take some time but it’ll happen,” she says.

“Then we’ll be able to have people on the exercise bike or the treadmill who are immersed in an environment, like the mountains. Looking at a TV screen that’s showing a forest won’t make you feel like you’re there. But VR can.”

VR can transport patients from the white walls of the clinic to somewhere more interesting
VR can transport patients from the white walls of the clinic to somewhere more interesting
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/439283_120006.jpg
"If there was a physio clinic in the gym, with VR equipment, patients might be more motivated to do their exercises" – Dr Van De Keere of Immersive Rehab discusses the benefits of VR in gyms...
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features

People: Isabel Van De Keere, Immersive Rehab

CEO and founder, Immersive Rehab

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
DR Isabel Van De Keere
DR Isabel Van De Keere
If there was a physio clinic in the gym, with VR equipment, patients might be more motivated to do their exercises

Immersive’ is the buzzword in fitness at the moment, as gyms and suppliers strive to find new ways to make people forget they’re exercising. Now, healthtech entrepreneur Dr Isabel Van De Keere is applying the same principle to the area of rehabilitation.

Last year the former medical technology consultant founded Immersive Rehab – a startup that creates virtual reality (VR) games designed to increase the effectiveness of physical rehabilitation after injury.

“Traditional physiotherapy is quite boring for the patient,” says Dr Van De Keere. “People get demotivated and frustrated.”

On the gym floor
This is particularly true for injured gym-goers. Many are non-compliant with the physiotherapist-prescribed exercises they need to do to get back into action – further delaying their recovery. But Dr Van De Keere believes that the introduction of VR machines in gyms could change this.

“When physios give patients an exercise to do at home, most people don’t do it. But if there was a physio clinic in the gym, with VR equipment, people might be more motivated to do their prescribed exercises there. That way they can still go to the gym, so they don’t lose their routine. They won’t be doing their normal programme, but they’ll be getting rehabilitated in a fun and engaging way.”

Dr Van De Keere explains that with virtual reality games, patients become motivated to challenge themselves further than they would in a normal physio session.

“You can really mix up the way exercises are delivered,” she says. “And because patients are inside the virtual environment, they feel empowered. It takes them out of the white-walled, clinical environment and puts them somewhere new and interesting. It also gives them a sense of control over their surroundings.”

VR in the future
While Dr Van De Keere’s software is currently aimed at helping patients who have suffered from neurological trauma, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, she has also worked with athletes including Paralympic rower David Smith, and says the potential for treating sports and exercise injuries is high.

“For athletes who are injured and can’t be out there playing their sport, it can be depressing. In VR they can be on a virtual football pitch, for example, doing their rehab exercises with a virtual ball. It strengthens their mental state and is more motivating than doing those exercises within the four white walls of a physio clinic.”

Unsurprisingly, Dr Van De Keere is also a big believer in VR as a tool to get people more active.

“The headsets will become more comfortable and will be more like normal glasses at some point. It will take some time but it’ll happen,” she says.

“Then we’ll be able to have people on the exercise bike or the treadmill who are immersed in an environment, like the mountains. Looking at a TV screen that’s showing a forest won’t make you feel like you’re there. But VR can.”

VR can transport patients from the white walls of the clinic to somewhere more interesting
VR can transport patients from the white walls of the clinic to somewhere more interesting
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/439283_120006.jpg
"If there was a physio clinic in the gym, with VR equipment, patients might be more motivated to do their exercises" – Dr Van De Keere of Immersive Rehab discusses the benefits of VR in gyms...
Latest News
Boutique fitness operator 1Rebel has partnered with Technogym to develop an at-home indoor cycling platform ...
Latest News
Sport England has published an update on its digital strategy, in which the grassroots organisation ...
Latest News
A new all-in-one digital platform will begin offering certified, trainer-led live group fitness classes in ...
Latest News
Peloton co-founder and CEO John Foley has admitted that he is baffled as to why ...
Latest News
Seattle-based studio Best Practice Architecture has created a new gym with innovative design touches and ...
Latest News
A study assessing the impact of physical inactivity on national economies has suggested that if ...
Latest News
Low-cost operator Basic-Fit is set to speed up its expansion plans across the European market. ...
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Xponential Fitness has signed a master franchise deal to open 100 Club Pilates studios in ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Not all functional training areas are created equal
In the last few years, the rise in popularity of functional training has been significant and operators are providing more space for functional training, both on the gym floor and in group training and studio settings.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Wattbike Studio makes lasting impact on business at Holme Pierrepont
Since installing its new Wattbike indoor cycling studio last year, Holme Pierrepont Country Park, a Serco Leisure site that’s the home of the National Water Sports Centre, has seen a significant increase in cycle studio usage.
Opinion
promotion
An ever-increasing number of Brits are engaging in sporting events, setting themselves goals and looking to increase their fitness levels....
Opinion: Dr Crionna Tobin on nutritional training for PTs and fitness experts
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical Company Ltd
Physical Company provides specialist fitness solutions. This includes equipment, flooring, gym design, programming and training ...
Company profiles
Company profile: DFC
DFC
At DFC, we offer totally transparent revenue management solutions with clear pricing and no hidden ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-22 Nov 2019
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura,
Diary dates
29 Nov 2019
The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
10-12 Dec 2019
tbc, Fort Lauderdale, United States
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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