How virtual reality could help reduce brain injuries
Manchester-based software company Rezzil has released a “heading software” that can aid in reducing football-related brain injuries through virtual reality.
Research published by Glasgow University found that professional footballers are 3.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than the general public.
Rezzil’s latest VR creation, named Player 22, focuses on reaction time training, hand-eye coordination drills, and, primarily, heading drills.
The company has also been working with top English Premier League clubs to enhance training.
“We’re going to reduce the amount of times you make contact with a physical ball,” Andy Etches, co-founder of Rezzil told Reuters.
“We are looking at how heading affects connectivity in your brain – it seems to slow brain activity,” Greg Wood, senior lecturer in Motor Control at Manchester Metropolitan University, who are working with Rezzil to develop the technology, told Reuters.
“We can then see how effective heading in virtual reality is in comparison and whether it is more effective is preserving normal activity and connectivity.
“We found that doing some heading movements in VR is up to five times less of an impact than heading an actual ball, so it has less impact on the head and on brain function.
“If we can train somebody in virtual reality to head the ball more effectively, without having the impact, it could have significant positive benefits.
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