MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan electronics technician Sergio Olivieri has developed a system that uses virtual reality, or VR, to help rehabilitate people with brain damage, a project he entered in the History Channel’s “Una idea para cambiar la historia” (An Idea to Change History) contest.
Olivieri said in an interview with EFE that his neural rehabilitation system allowed people to discover their “own strengths and energy for recovering inside” via VR.
The VR therapy is designed for patients experiencing brain damage from a stroke or trauma, Olivieri said.
The electronics technician said he developed a person close to him suffered brain damage, motivating him to start working on the system two years ago.
Several techniques are employed in the VR system, but the main method involves projecting images to stimulate brain activity, Olivieri said.
“These projections activate the brain and it starts to send neural stimuli to the affected area. This contributes to rehabilitation,” said Olivieri, who has specialized in repairing medical equipment for 20 years.
Friends recommended that he enter his invention in the History Channel contest, which would provide the funds to implement the system at a health facility, Olivieri said.
The contest’s winner will be selected on Nov. 27 and receive a cash award of $60,000.