Startup uses virtual reality to help older adults re-engage with the world

Startup uses virtual reality to help older adults re-engage with the world

MIT News reports on Rendever, a virtual-reality startup focused on older adults that collaborates with the MIT AgeLab.

Rendever brings VR technology into senior living communities with the aim of improving residents' wellbeing and levels of social engagement. The technology allows its users to "visit" distant places and sites of cherished memories, and to share in those experiences together.

Dennis Lally MBA ’17 and Charles Xueyang Lin IDM ’17 of Rendever worked with the MIT AgeLab to field a study to explore how exposure to virtual reality affects residents of assisted living communities. A 2018 paper coauthored by AgeLab Research Scientist Chaiwoo Lee and AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin describes the results of that research, in which residents who were exposed to VR entertainment in a group setting experienced less depression and social isolation compared to residents who watched television in a group.

“To this day, the power of the shared experience remains at the heart of our philosophy, and we owe much of that to our roots at MIT and ongoing collaboration with the MIT AgeLab,” said Rendever CEO Kyle Rand for the article.

Rendever's work aligns with the AgeLab's mission not only to improve quality of life for older adults with technologically-enabled interventions, but to excite and delight them with new and engaging experiences.

Read the full story here.