Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants

Healing and Empowerment after Limb Loss in XR

Healing and Empowerment after Limb Loss in XR

New Frontiers Track

Kyle Johnsen helping an amputated patient use virtual reality to overcome loss of a limb.

This project aims to transform the healing and rehabilitation process for those who suffer limb loss by incorporating eXtended Reality (XR) technologies into the post-amputation and long-term care process. XR devices can be used by limb loss patients and their caregivers to distract them from pain, visualize missing limbs, and train to use prosthetic limbs. Where prior work in clinical XR has largely focused on pain reduction, we address the broader question of how XR can empower patients and their caregivers and enable a return to productive lives following the traumatic and typically unexpected loss of limbs. With our close collaboration with OrthoCarolina, its world-renowned orthopedic surgeons, and patients with amputations that regularly come to its clinics across North Carolina, we have already laid a strong regional foundation for the proposed work that will be critical to broader, national, extramurally funded effort. Building off a prototype HEAL-XR system developed at UGA in partnership with OrthoCarolina, we will expand its technological capabilities and collect data in feasibility studies that will inform and refine our approach and offer objective evidence for its efficacy. We aim to have these critical pieces in place for an NIH (National Institutes of Health) R01 submission in Fall 2024, using evidence from the seed grant to support a submission to the NICHD or NINDS programs.

Team Lead

Johnsen, Kyle
Georgia Informatics Institute

Team Members

Sun Joo Ahn
Advertising and Public Relations

Fred Beyette
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Deborah Barany

Ted Futris
Human Development and Family Science