Virtual reality is popular with younger generations, but a new company is bringing unique and immersive experiences to older adults. Imagine giving a person the ability to “travel” to the Big Apple and visit a 1960s-era night club with a full cast of clubgoers and talent singing “New York, New York.” Such is the work of MyndVR, a health and wellness company which provides virtual reality solutions to senior living communities, home health care agencies and, eventually, directly to consumers. Their mission: to improve people’s moods, provide a way to escape to a new reality, reduce feelings of isolation, trigger memories, increase socialization and a sense of connection, and ultimately, lift one’s spirits.
“We are passionate about helping older adults, and we understand the kind of content that works for them,” said Chris Brickler, co-founder and CEO of MyndVR. “We feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction in seeing firsthand the difference that virtual reality can make in a person’s life. During recent successful field trials, we watched people connect with the world around them and remember times from years past all while smiling and feeling inner satisfaction. It is heartwarming to see how happy participants are during and after an experience.”
Over the past year, MyndVR created and tested a proprietary virtual reality interface which optimizes the experience for older adults. In addition, MyndVR is intelligently curating a vast library of meaningful licensed and original virtual reality content specifically designed to interest seniors. People can use VR to briefly escape reality and enjoy the positive feelings that come with being transported mentally to another place and time. The company’s full-service delivery approach provides everything a senior living community or individual needs to implement the program successfully, including the equipment, a vast library of content, hardware support and extensive compassionate training.
“We curate licensed content and produce our own – which includes casting and filming just like a real movie – to give older adults relatable and enjoyable experiences,” said Brickler. “We are dedicated to changing lives, and for our brand we purposefully swapped the ‘i’ for a ‘y’ in Mynd (‘My’-nd) to demonstrate how we are helping an individual regain ownership of one’s own mind.”
The content is customizable and can specifically target certain physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, macular degeneration and others. To create original content, the team travels across the country filming nature, cities, and venues such as the New York night club. In addition, the team developed unique menus and gaze-based navigation which allows people to use their eyes to select content and move through the experiences, making the technology far easier to use.
MyndVR’s extensive training program demonstrates how to use the technology, as well as how to access the content and guide seniors through a dose of virtual reality. While the person is swimming with dolphins, playing with kittens or admiring artwork, the company teaches the use of gentle touch which allows for communication while a senior safely explores the virtual landscape.
“We are proud of the turnkey solution MyndVR provides because it gives users access to everything they need for success, and we provide support every step along the way,” said Shawn Wiora, co-founder and board member of MyndVR. “I know that our management team and our newly formed advisory board has the senior living and healthcare experience to help positively impact lives by providing virtual reality for seniors.”
The MyndVR advisory board includes Gary Jessee, managing director at Sellers Dorsey and former deputy executive commissioner for medical and social services in Texas; Dr. Sandra Chapman, founder and chief director of Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas; Tony Mugavero, CEO of LittlStar; Pete DeNagy, Tri-Chair, Tech Titans IoT; Dr. Ryan McMahan, VR research and technology – The University of Texas at Dallas; Michael Cope, founder and CEO of Cope Ventures; Jason Menges, vice president at PointClickCare; and Ross Abbott, partner at SINC USA. Each team member will work together to guide and advise as MyndVR provides a promising future into cognitive health and wellness for the dynamic aging population.
“Anytime someone thinks you have the skill or ability to help move a company forward it is an honor, and I am thrilled to serve on the MyndVR advisory board,” said Jessee. “I was blown away the first time I tried MyndVR. There’s really nothing like this; it’s almost indescribable. It is a different experience for everyone. This is an opportunity for people who are older or who have medical issues and are restricted in their ability to enjoy life and try something they’ve always wanted to do. The fact they can virtually escape is amazing. It is life changing. It was very emotional when I first tried it. I teared up thinking about how this gives opportunities to people who may not have had them before or who haven’t had them in a long time. This technology is such a needed benefit for seniors. I’m excited to work with the group and see where this company goes in the future.”
MyndVR is currently conducting pre-sales for its virtual reality solution. If you are interested in learning more, please visit www.myndvr.com.