MiGO VR Gives Amputees Hope
By Halle Hershberger —
Life after limb loss is filled with unknown questions as to whether patients can resume normal activities. However, the Hanger Clinic based out of Austin, Texas recently introduced a new virtual reality (VR) experience, MiGO, that brings hope to amputees during their recovery.
As America’s industry leader in prosthetic care, we’re dedicated to investing in new technology to support those we serve,” stated Hanger, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Vinit Asar. “Producing this VR experience to further empower the limb loss and limb difference community is an example of our commitment to fulfilling the triple aim of healthcare, which equates to exceptional patient care and experience.”
In the past, VR was used to help amputees with phantom pains, but the Hanger Clinic’s focus on empowering patients led to a new approach.
MiGO is a virtual reality experience that allows amputees to have a first-person point of view interaction with a fellow amputee. This 360-degree immersive video helps those who suffered limb loss learn nothing is impossible by seeing other people’s actions with a prosthetic. For example, users can experience walking down stairs or driving a car with two prosthetic legs and cutting food with a prosthetic arm.
Now, patients have opportunities to visualize these basic skills, providing them motivation to take back their lives. With this virtual reality technology, amputees never have to wonder if walking, cooking, or any daily task is impossible. MiGO restores confidence in users who doubted their ability to live a normal life with a prosthetic.
The team at the Hanger clinic understands the impact of this new technology. Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP(D), vice president of prosthetics for Hanger Clinic, Hanger’s patient care subsidiary, stated, “Losing a limb can be highly traumatic, often compared to losing a loved one.” He continued to explain, “I’m thrilled we’re now able to offer this new avenue for providing hope and inspiration, showing those with limb loss and limb difference what is truly possible with hard work, dedication, and the appropriate prosthetic devices.”
In a news release, the initial rollout of MiGO VR occurred in mid-April at the Hanger Clinic’s 2018 Bilateral Above-Knee Amputee Bootcamp (BAKA). Almost 60 attendees used the technology, learning what independence with prosthetic technology is like. Some of the attendees were using wheelchairs and were in the early stages of learning to walk, so the demonstration gave them an inspiring opportunity to explore their future.
One boot camp attendee, Yvonne Llanes shared, “I was amazed by this experience,” continuing to add, “The word ‘hope’ came to my mind. This experience provides so much hope for those individuals with recent limb loss and shows that anything is possible.”
The Hanger Clinic plans to take the feedback from the rollout to create a longer MiGO VR experience that include different users varying in age, type of prosthetic, amputation level, and activity performed. This extended MiGO VR experience is planned to be released nationwide this summer.
About Our Guest Contributor
Halle Hershberger is a purposeful communicator, driven to create impact through meaningful stories.