Now VR products are no longer exclusive to young people, it can also make the elderly feel the temperature of technology
“Pioneers of the Metaverse” is a column we set up for the development of the Metaverse. It is mainly aimed at practitioners who dig deep into the Metaverse industry or conduct “gold digging” in the Metaverse. From a unique perspective, we can see those companies or individuals who lead the development of the global Metaverse. We are convinced that the curtain of the Metaverse has been opened, and the technological Internet that will lead the next 20 years has embarked on the wave of the times. The following is our 13th issue, with a unique perspective, focusing on VR services for the elderly, to see how Rendever uses VR technology to bring their own “Metaverse” to the elderly, enjoy below .
With the development of science and technology, the progress of civilization, the increase of expected age, and the reduction of fertility rate and the increase of average reproductive age, we cannot avoid the current situation of accelerated global population aging.
In 2020, the number of people over the age of 60 in the world exceeded the number of children under the age of 5 for the first time in history.
According to the official website of the World Economic Forum, the global aging population is expected to rise from 7% today to 20% in the next few decades . By 2050, the number of adults over the age of 65 globally will double to 1.6 billion. Just take Japan, which has the most serious aging problem, as an example. In 2050, the ratio between the working population and the elderly will reach 10:7.
All this thanks to a higher nutritional structure, public health system and medical care measures. However, it also brought a huge test to the society, economy and politics of the whole era.
We urgently need new solutions to meet the needs of an aging population, and technological innovations such as artificial intelligence, big data, and VR/AR provide new directions for this .
Most people may think that the main direction of the current VR application landing is the game industry, real estate industry, social media industry and other fields that are more suitable for young people.
However, a company called Rendever has brought VR to the elderly community, providing the elderly with a better quality of life for the elderly , optimizing the medical care system, assisting in building the mental health of the elderly, and establishing cooperation with more than 400 nursing homes.
This breaks the cognition of many people. In fact, there are many specific technology areas that are constantly being explored on the road to meet the needs of the elderly. We have seen wearable devices, sensory aids, artificial intelligence electronic medical records, etc., then Rendever What kind of company is it? What kind of service does it provide for the elderly?
How was Rendever born?
With the development of population aging, the establishment of elderly communities has become the mainstream of society, and more and more elderly people choose to spend their later years here to reduce their dependence on adult children.
However, this has created new social problems. More and more elderly people are in a state of isolation from society and others, which leads to social isolation and greatly affects the health of the elderly.
The results of a study published in the top medical journal “JAMA Network Open” by a research team from the University of California in the United States showed that social isolation and loneliness increased the risk of cardiovascular disease in elderly women by 8% and 5%, respectively. rose to 13% to 27% .
In addition, people living in older communities face varying degrees of cognitive impairment and are more likely to suffer from depression and Alzheimer’s disease (also known as Alzheimer’s disease).
This caught the attention of Reed Hayes, the founder of Rendever. In 2015, by chance, Reed Hayes and Dennis Lally, who graduated from MIT, discovered that VR technology can make patients with Alzheimer’s disease feel happy.
So in 2016, they co-founded Rendever with Kyle Rand and Thomas Neumann .
In the beginning, Rendever’s virtual reality platform enabled elderly residents of the community to enjoy life again through VR and live broadcasts, and created a new shared experience for the elderly during the epidemic to improve their physical health.
The elderly can use Rendever to recall the past, travel, and participate in family activities . Kyle Rand said that this technology is “making the lives of global participants better and allowing the elderly to reintegrate into the world.” After that, the Rendever team will launch Rendever in 2021. Fit, which inspires older adults to participate and engage in physical activity.
Rendever has received a Phase 1 grant for Small Business Technology Transfer and a Phase 2 grant worth $2 million from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In addition to that, Rendever was a finalist in the XRAwards22 Best Virtual Reality Solution of the Year category and was included in Forbes’ New XR Tech at CES2022 .
The investment of capital allows Rendever to better optimize its products and services. Rendever is not just a service company. They are devoted to the cause of changing the world of the elderly with great enthusiasm.
Kyle believes that “shared experiences are at the heart of the team, and that’s thanks in large part to MIT’s roots and ongoing collaboration with MIT AgeLab.”
Rendever has cooperated with MIT, UC Santa Barbara and other universities, and has achieved a series of research results.We successfully assessed the effects of VR-based virtual home participation in older adults, as well as differences in the effects of different degrees of cognitive impairment (MCI, mild to moderate AD/ADRD).
Rendever allows us to see more possibilities for VR applications and the impact that the Metaverse will bring to the elderly. It opens a window to a wonderful world for the elderly, and allows technology to meet the needs of the elderly. match .
What can Rendever be used for?
So what exactly does Rendever do for seniors? Rendever’s services are mainly composed of four parts, namely Resident Engagement, a resident engagement platform, Rendever Live, a VR live broadcast platform, Rendever Fit, a VR fitness platform, and Envision Home.
Resident Engagement provides residents of senior communities with the tools to link community workers and families , allowing seniors to increase the way they interact and connect with the world, increasing their well-being.
Through shared experiences, group activities, and networking, Resident Engagement provides seniors with more choices and topics to talk about, building a happier, healthier online community, and providing more fun and interactive activities for families to make Families can visit and make out more frequently through VR glasses, giving caregivers more time to interact with the elderly.
Resident Engagement is a supplement and reconstruction of the elderly community, providing a new outlet for the elderly to socialize .
The VR live broadcast platform Rendever Live provides daily live broadcasts for the elderly community, prepares a convenient window for community staff to provide high-quality courses for the elderly, and provides a chat platform for the elderly to interact with experts on the platform in real time.
Residents of elderly communities can travel around the world through Rendever, obtain online medical services, and experience a different life experience.
In addition to this, studies have shown that physical activity in older adults can both delay the onset of dementia and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes .
The VR fitness platform Rendever Fit will be open for booking for the first time in September 2021. It consists of three activities, Cycle, Paddle and Paint. It combines “sports activities”, “cognitive activities” and “social activities”, aiming to make the elderly Residents of the community engage in fun-filled physical activity and help older adults improve their mental health and emotional, mental, and cognitive function.
Rendever Fit can also record the activity data of the elderly, and increase the sense of immersion and social participation of the elderly through global rankings, custom avatars, resident profiles, etc.
Envision Home allows interior designers and the community to upload 3D renderings and 360° images and videos, allowing potential residents of the elderly community to take an immersive community tour in VR , saving the marketing cost of the elderly community Optimize the experience of residents in the elderly community.
Rendever’s products and services have injected vitality into the elderly community, so that the elderly community is no longer an island that is drifting away from the world, so that the elderly can visit the world in “home” and “return to 18 years old”.
How does Rendever improve the lives of older adults?
The elderly group has been plagued by various problems, and various physical problems have begun to occur. Memory decline and Alzheimer’s disease and other geriatric diseases that affect memory also occur frequently.
In addition, due to the reduction of social activities and the lack of concern for children, the elderly are also increasingly lonely. However, these problems are being improved by new technologies such as VR.
In 2019, a study by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that a new method using VR technology was up to 90% accurate in distinguishing between people with Alzheimer’s disease and those with memory impairment due to other causes, which is more accurate than the traditional “gold standard”. “The 55 percent accuracy rate for cognitive testing methods is much higher.
In addition to the earlier detection of problems with VR technology, several studies have shown that VR technology can also effectively alleviate these memory-related disorders.
First, the use of VR technology in medicine is feasible .
A study as early as 2015, “The Feasibility of Image-Based Rendering of Virtual Reality in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia,” showed that in highly realistic image-based VR tasks, patients with mild cognitive impairment Older adults with disabilities or Alzheimer’s actually experienced higher levels of satisfaction and security, and lower levels of anxiety, discomfort, and fatigue than the paper version.
In a 2018 study, “Assessing Episodic Memory Using Immersive Virtual Reality: A Validation Study in Older Adults,” the role of VR in older adults was tested more broadly. VR technology has good validity in memory test.
This suggests that the technique is suitable for assessing and ultimately training episodic memory in older adults. Episodic memory declines with age, is often impaired by brain disease, and is one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
What’s more, the study also came to a conclusion that is counterintuitive to many people: using VR, the elderly are no more likely to experience vertigo symptoms than young people.
Secondly, VR technology is helpful to improve memory ability .
The study “Virtual Memory Palace: Immersion Helps Recall” published by the University of Maryland in 2018 showed that VR headsets can provide us with excellent spatial awareness, and using virtual memory palaces in a VR environment can allow users to better recall information, Compared with the environment of traditional PC computer screen, the effect is 8.8% higher.
Therefore, based on these theoretical foundations, we can find that VR technology is not just a trend for young people, it is also a technology that is very warm to the elderly, which can make the life of the elderly more colorful, and can also care about their physical and mental health. healthy.
The founder of Rendever originally wanted to care for the elders of his family, and then he paid attention to the use of technologies such as VR to care for the elderly.
Rendever hopes to help the elderly improve various physical and mental problems that plague the elderly. To this end,Rendever uses VR technology to provide elderly users with various functions such as reducing disease occurrence, real-time monitoring and diagnosis, and physical and mental exercise .
Rendever uses Google’s Street View feature to create a custom experience for senior users, regardless of distance or physical condition, to send them to a familiar home, hometown, school, or to browse the scenery and scenery of the world, thereby reducing depression. The probability.
Rendever has launched a function of Family Moments, family members can use 360-degree camera to shoot, so that the elderly can immersely experience the feeling of family members communicating in real time, reduce the sense of loss caused by loneliness, and regain a warm feeling.
Plus, Rendever hopes to use VR to help diagnose Alzheimer’s .
By letting users complete tasks in simulated life scenarios, Rendever can collect enough data to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease early and help measure treatment effects.
In September 2021, Rendever further launched a full-featured integrated work-Rendever Fit, a VR social fitness platform for the elderly .
The platform enables the elderly to get comprehensive physical and mental exercise in a pleasant way, while having fun, it can also improve their physical and mental health, regulate emotions, exercise cognitive ability, and thus improve their sense of well-being.
Will VR become the new darling of seniors?
Globally, in 1950 there were only 35 countries with more than one million elderly people in the world, but today there are 85, and it is expected to increase to 129 by 2050.
According to the international classification standard, if the proportion of the population over 65 years old exceeds 7%, it means entering an aging society, and when the proportion exceeds 14%, it marks the arrival of a “deeply aging society”. If it exceeds 20%, It is called a “super-aging society”.
Taking my country as an example, the results of the seventh census show that the population aged 65 and above exceeds 190 million, accounting for 13.50, which means that we have entered a “deeply aging society”.
The aging trend in Japan next door is even more serious. According to statistics in 2015, the proportion of elderly people over 65 years old in Japan is 25%, and this number is expected to rise now.
On the one hand, the trend of aging is coming, and on the other hand, various services urgently needed by the elderly are increasing year by year . For the smartphones we use every day, most of the elderly may not be able to use smart phones 5 years ago. Mobile phones, but now smartphones have also become the new darling of the old life.
According to the “2021 Seniors’ Mobile Phone Use Report” released by Qutoutiao and the Integrated Communication Research Center of the School of Media and Communication, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 65.13% of the elderly most expect their children and grandchildren to use smartphones, because more than half of the elderly agree that “smart phones” The use of mobile phones strengthens communication with children” and “closes parent-child relationship”.
Therefore, when the aging trend hits, they want to catch up with the trend of technology, but also want their needs to be met, which is both a social need and an opportunity for businesses .
Similarly, VR/AR, as an important technology product in the next stage, has begun to attract attention in the past two years, but most of the products only stop at serving young users, and there are few products that serve the silver market like Rendever.
Therefore, as a leader in the field, Rendever shows us the vitality and potential that VR exudes in the elderly .
If a VR product can not only meet the living needs of the elderly, but also actually solve some of the mental disorders of the elderly, perhaps in the next stage we will see more companies start to focus on this field.
According to the latest update of the World Bank’s Global Elderly Population Database, the total number of elderly people aged 65 and over will reach 723.484 million in 2020, surpassing 700 million for the first time, accounting for nearly 10% of the world’s total population, and this data will continue to be maintained. Growth, such a huge market size may become the next important outlet.
Therefore, we predict that with the gradual popularization of VR devices in the mainstream market, the elderly market will also usher in a “trend” similar to smartphones in the future , and they will also become an important technology product for the elderly, but we cannot temporarily Accurately estimate how big this market will be.
But Rendever at least proves one thing for us: the elderly can play with VR products, and they can also enter the Metaverse.
Who says the Metaverse is only for young people?
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