Utrecht Region as hotbed for immersive technology

If you’ve ever had surgery or broken your arm, you’ll know how long it takes before you feel like your normal self again. Physiotherapy sessions seem never ending, and quite frankly, rebuilding muscle strength is a drag.

17 April 2024 2 minutes

But physical therapy and avoiding sedentary behaviour are essential to making a full recovery. Even more, actively working on your recovery helps reduce the risk of complications and the length of your stay in healthcare institutions.

Empowering Patients with Mixed Reality games

Enter HoloMoves: the Mixed Reality (MR) solutions that promote recovery by gamifying physical therapy sessions and empowering patients to exercise, with or without supervision. The head mounted display glasses project holograms around a person while the real world remains visible to them. Gamification is an important factor of the success; while patients do their exersices, they are motivated by the game and can forget about time and experience lower pain experience.
Instead of doing yet another lap around the ward, patients are challenged to pop virtual balloons, release butterflies and more. A big part of the team studied a game degree at HKU and ensures that recovery exersices go hand in hand with gameplay design.

“With HoloMoves, we want to contribute to the digital healthcare transformation,” says co-founder Joep Janssen. “Holographic Interaction Technology helps us personally motivate patients to get physically active at their own level and pace. As technology progresses and visuals become increasingly realistic, we’ll find even more ways in which we can help improve patient care. We believe mixed reality technology has the potential to address some of the biggest bottlenecks in healthcare provision today.” And with literature showing that increased exercise reduces hospital admission times by as much as 5-14% it’s easy to see how both patient and care facility gain from the introduction of mixed reality applications.

Utrecht Region as hotbed for immersive technology

It should come as no surprise then that HoloMoves has now officially been CE classified as a class 1 medical device. Nor that the company has made its home in Utrecht, the Heart of Health and the Dutch capital of IT.  Utrecht Region is home to a diverse range of start-up and big corporatecompanies that are working on Immersive Technologies. Applications range from entertainment in gaming and media, to healthcare, education and the building environment.
The presence of one of the biggest art schools (HKU) in Europe with renowed Game Education acts as a big driver, as Linda de Klerk (International business advisor Digital Media) explains: “The HKU offers state of the art game education and stimulates entrepreneurship and social awareness. This results in not only a vibrant game community, but also in great applied game companies that are home grown in the area.  Holomoves, Tover and Flavour are some of the examples with international success.”

Join the Utrecht Region ecosystem

The Immersive Tech ecsosytem of Utrecht Region is constantly developing and collaboration is an important part of this. De Klerk (photo) gives an example: “At Hilversum Media Park parties are joining forces to create new virtual productions and apply AI, motion capture and other new technologies. This offers great opportunities for companies that want to enter the EU market and work on innovative solutions with peer companies an knowledge partners.”

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