There’s nothing like the power of a personal story that serves as the inspiration for a new idea.
Eran Orr, founder of VRPhysio™, is an Ex-Israeli F16 Air Forcepilot, with a BA in Business Management, Government and Politics and an MBA in Entrepreneurship.
Eran’s personal story behind his idea of combining Virtual Reality with Physical Therapy is truly inspirational.
After 12 years of serving as a pilot in the Israeli Air-Force, Eran began to experience pain in his right hand caused by active flying. After some time, the pain had progressed to the point where he couldn’t even pick up his 2-year old daughter, prompting him to consider undergoing physical therapy.
After his first visit, he was diagnosed with a herniated disk, a condition that could have been prevented by performing frequent exercises.
After some investigation, Eran found that this was a widespread condition among air force pilots, that made him wonder whether there could be a solution to this common problem.
Eventually, he established the IDF Spinal Cord Damage Prevention Program for aircrew personnel, aimed at helping to prevent fellow pilots from experiencing similar injuries. Today, as an integral part of the training process, young IAF pilots are trained to perform preventative exercises designed to lower the risk of injuries due to active flight.
Later on, Eran discovered that there were amny more people who suffer from similar problems, but do not receive the help they require to recover or prevent further injury. He identified that current physical therapy practices are inefficient, due to three main causes:
- Physical therapists are not always available
- Patients don’t want to do their physical therapy exercises because they are either painful or boring.
- It has not been clinically proven which protocol is most efficient for every injury and condition.
Consequently, Eran’s idea of combining Virtual Reality with Physical Therapy arose as a way of providing an immersive and engaging experience when performing physical therapy exercises. At the same time, this solution would provide physical therapists with meaningful data and analysis, enabling them to track a patient’s progress and utilize invaluable data and insights to adjust the rehabilitation process according to patient needs.