Virtual Reality project helping intensive care patients to recover

Patients recovering from major surgery are being given the chance to cycle the Devon coast path from their hospital bed.

Researchers from the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team at The University of Birmingham have developed a virtual reality cycling programme.

They are now working alongside medical professionals at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to help patients like Paul Kavanagh in their recovery.

It took the team over three years to design and develop 'Virtual Wembury', which is based on the village on the south coast of Devon.

Professor Robert Stone who has been working in the field for 30 years, chose the area because he was born and bred there.

He says it offers the perfect mix of green, sand and sea for an attractive virtual reality landscape.

The landscape can reflect both day and night scenes. Credit: HIT Team (University of Birmingham)

The virtual reality programme has been designed to enable doctors and nurses here to use it alongside traditional rehabilitation techniques.

If this trial is successful, they are hoping that it might be used in other hospitals across the UK.