Sensory treatment is the future

Listen to get better health, let the light shine on your course of illness and go hiking, even when your legs can no longer carry you. All the senses are in play in future treatment methods. Danish Sound and Welfare Tech went on a discovery journey into the future technologies at WHINN 2017.

The future looks bright for new treatment methods. The healthcare system has really opened their eyes on how the senses of light, sound and Virtual Reality (VR) influence on health and can prevent and alleviate disease. Literally - and not least in the preventive care. It was therefore also the focus at WHINN 2017, the Week of Health and INNovation in Odense, where Velux, among others, talked about their research into the meaning of quality light for health and mind.

But effective lighting is just one step on the road. The light can also relieve pain in the future - right into the hospital room. It has Wavecare made happen in reality in cooperation with Philips Healthcare. Together they have created maternity rooms where light and sound ensure that stress and pain are minimized. It has worked out so well, that they have established maternity rooms in several places in both Denmark and China. And with thousands of childbirths in the baggage and attention of the Chinese Minister of Health, everything points to the fact that light and sound will play a major role in tomorrow's maternity rooms.

Sound to care for soul and mind

Also, sound plays an increasingly important role as a treatment method. It has already been proven that sound and music can positively affect the mood in people suffering from depression. But sound can also help relieve Alzheimer's patients. A project from neuroscientist Dr. Indre Viskontas, professor of San Francisco University, has shown that using personal music can bring back life and agitation in people suffering from dementia, who was otherwise thought out of reach. Parkinson patients also see significant improvements when activities are combined with music.

Does this mean that it's only the brain that reacts? No, the whole body is involved when the music is playing. The immune system dances with and become stronger, stress levels sit still on the chair and lashes with the foot, blood pressure leans back on the beat.

Experiences when physics fail

But what then, when the legs can no longer carry you? When the eyes still want to see, but the body will not walk?

TakeaWalk, a Danish Virtual Reality company, has managed to give this kind of experiences back to our oldest and most fragile citizens. Without leaving the chair, the elderly, those with dementia and the disabled can go on a tour into the virtual universe. Up the mountains, into the woods, onto the white beaches of Thailand and all the way into the deepest caves. And the results speak for themselves; The gratitude doesn’t stop, and with a wide smile and for some joyful tears rushing down the cheeks, it's the treatment we all can feel in the heart. The future looks bright.

The future can be heard. The future is sensory technologies that relieve, treat and bring joy, peace and experience back to the citizen and the patient.

The Innovative Sensory Technologies Conference was held as part of WHINN 2017 on October 11 in Odense - organized by Welfare Tech Innovation Network for Health and Welfare Technology, Danish Sound and the project, Sound and Health.


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Welfare Tech is​ co-financed by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and The European Regional Development Fund.

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