This month we spent 5 minutes with Alla Melman. Alla work across both clinical and research worlds and also recently won the Emerging Researchers@Sydney prize for the eHealth design and implementation stream for her presentation ‘Virtual Reality exergaming in chronic low back pain’.
Please tell us a little about yourself
I work across both clinical and research worlds. Clinically I work with people with persistent pain conditions and general musculoskeletal issues. I am a titled pain physiotherapist having completed a Masters in Pain Management, so my interests lie in preventing and treating persistent pain conditions. I am also the Research Officer for the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), promoting high quality evidence based physiotherapy. I have recently completed a clinical research fellowship and am considering undertaking a PhD in the future.
What is your research on?
My recent research was an observational study of two modes of virtual reality exergaming (immersive ie wearing a VR headset and non-immersive using a TV screen) in a cohort with chronic low back pain. I was interested to assess the tolerance of this form of therapy in this cohort, as well as to find out which mode would promote more movement.
What are the real world consequences of your research?
With the growing move towards Telehealth, VR exergaming needs to be tested for tolerance and efficacy in chronic pain populations. It could potential give much more equitable access to rehabilitation than current modes of delivery. For example, shorten waiting lists, increase access in rural and regional areas, and increase overall therapy participation time.
What does digital health mean to you?
It means a whole range of things – from the way we collect and share patient data, to interactive education and therapies. It is an exciting space with much potential for innovative delivery and growth.
Do you have any resources or links you would like to share?
There is some amazing virtual reality research being conducted in all areas of healthcare; for example spinal cord injury, stroke and amputees rehabilitation is rapidly evolving with access to new technology.
Connect with Alla: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alla-melman-89b54754/