The Mount Vernon VR Team.

Mount Vernon School’s Virtual Reality (VR) team recently presented at the sold-out Virtual Medicine (vMed) Conference in Los Angeles as one of 60 presenters. The team presented details on a VR experience for pediatric patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Created in 2018, The Island was designed and developed by Mount Vernon Upper School students for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Island is used as both a distraction from pain and a way to encourage patients to use their bodies during physical therapy sessions.

“For patients with Acquired Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury, the mean pre-program “joy” scale rating was 3 and the post-program “joy” scale rating was a 4, all demonstrating improvements,” said Jason Amos, Manager, Day Rehabilitation at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The experience includes hearing seagulls squawking and waves crashing, along with the ability to interact with beach balls, treasure chests, and ‘pick up’ buckets on the
ground. A beach carnival provided users with additional opportunities to move and interact with carnival games.

Over the last five years, patient response and data collected by physical therapists using the program have resulted in ongoing optimizations of The Island by Mount Vernon students.

On March 29, the seven VR students presenters Herris Fentress, Christian Foster, Callum Graham, Burak Inel, Madison Kaul, Cade Reinking, Sydney Smith along with Director of Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab Marie Graham, and Assistant Director of Immersive Technology, Nikolai Ibanez demonstrated their work to the physicians and medical professionals at vMed23.

“The work being done by our VR team is an example of how student capacity can grow exponentially when real-world applications are provided. Not only do students see an authentic purpose to their work, but they are also invested and engaged in making a positive impact,” said Kristy Lundstrom, The Mount Vernon School’s Head of School.

Rough Draft Atlanta is the digital home of Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.