Jo Nunnerley (and team) were announced as one of our three finalists for the NZRA Innovation Award 2021, for their use of virtual reality to help with brain injury rehabilitation.
In collaboration with Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust (LFBIT), CerebralFix, University of Otago and Callaghan Innovation they used a co-design process with clinicians and people with traumatic brain injury to develop a therapeutic virtual reality tool aimed at increasing the awareness of and teaching self-management strategies for cognitive fatigue after brain injury.
This tool can simulate real-world situations without having to bring the client to those locations. This could include a supermarket, a cafe/restaurant or a place of work—activities the client would need to interact with as part of their normal daily lives post-injury.
Cognitive fatigue is the most troubling and longest lasting symptom in 73% of individuals recovering from a traumatic or acquired brain injury. The long-term effects of fatigue can considerably impair an individual's ability to work and lead a normal life, including participating in social activities with whānau and friends.
The team used a three-phase co-design approach to develop the virtual reality system, to ensure that input and opinions of people with lived experience of brain injury and experienced clinicians were integrated throughout the entire process.
Jo spoke to NZRA about what it means to be chosen as a finalist for this year's award.
This innovation will be presented at the conference and you will have an opportunity to vote for which innovation you think is most deserving of this year's award.