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How do patients living in remote communities, or with limited mobility, communicate and interact with medical professionals? How can medical services be improved for these patients?

According to APR.Intern, Luyao Teng, from Victoria University, the technologies of Virtual Reality and Home Telehealth together create a potentially revolutionary way of improving medical services to patients while also improving mental wellbeing.

Luyao was placed through the APR.Intern program with data analytics company Big Networks Pty Ltd for a period of four months. Using cutting edge wireless communication technology, 3D printing, large data analysis and disease management technologies, her project aimed to create an integrated virtual reality workspace. Luyao describes it as a complete, four-dimensional computer-generated virtual world, within which users can move around and interact.

The research holds potential to radically transform telemedicine practices, providing young and elderly patients, particularly those living in remote areas or who suffer mobility difficulties with health resources and social interaction, which in the past has largely been unthinkable.

The project had many benefits, both to the individuals involved as well as more broadly. Luyao said participating in the internship dramatically improved her ability to bridge theory and practice, turning abstract ideas into a concrete and workable artefact. Luyao’s Academic Mentor Associate, Professor Jing He, from Victoria University, argues such industry and academic collaboration is integral to creating new opportunities in future research.