The Metaverse is the future. Or it is theoretical nonsense. It all depends on who one talks to.
Either way, there are plenty who believe that it will transform the way society operates. Investment from industries across the board are evidence of that. And senior care players have followed suit.
MyndVR – a virtual reality company started by skilled nursing and Silicon Valley veterans – is an example of one of those companies. And its looking to partner with home-based care agencies to further its mission, CEO and co-founder Chris Brickler told Home Health Care News.
That mission that has already gained credibility through its 50-state footprint and major partnerships. Those partners include AT&T, Select Rehabilitation and Omega Healthcare Investors Inc., among others.
“Where millions of people are going to be going into communities, tens of millions of people will be aging in place,” Brickler said. “It’s so important to bring this technology to to our elderly citizens [there]. We’re still at an embryonic point of the market development as it relates to VR and senior care, but it’s at a beautiful point of inflection right now.”
Brickler has been in technology – and in and out of Silicon Valley – for decades. He started the Dallas-based MyndVR after personal experiences with senior care. Once he merged his professional life with his personal, the company came to fruition in 2016.
While MyndVR’s products and services are available direct to consumer, the company is working on furthering partnerships with home-based care agencies and skilled nursing operators specifically.
“As we move the product quickly into the world of therapy, and helping seniors reach their therapeutic goals, we absolutely are looking for those major partnerships,” Brickler said.
The goal is to help with activities of daily living and cognitive therapy through VR products, and, in the meantime, improve aging-in-place seniors’ physical and emotional well being. Also tailored to seniors, the products attempt to remove some of the technological barriers that may keep seniors or family caregivers from using VR headsets.
“We are simplifying VR,” Brickler said. “We’ve reimagined VR away from this video game and cultural sort of movement for the youth. … We’re reimagining all of that to a place that’s very safe, secure and easy to use for seniors and their caregivers.”
The company has now partnered with the computer manufacturing company HTC, a move it believes will “forever change VR in senior care.” The two companies are co-launching not a new VR headset, but instead, a set of immersive glasses.
That will be dubbed the HTC Vive Flow, and it’s a third of the weight of traditional VR headsets, which sometimes can be hard on seniors.
“There’s a whole new generation of therapeutic tools coming to senior care in the form of digital pills, essentially,” Brickler said.
And while he didn’t provide specifics on the home-based care companies he’d like to partner with, he did say “there’s a few out there [that people] could probably guess.”