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      New Virtual Reality Immersive Learning Lab on Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinson’s Disease Transforms Health Care Training and Family Caregiver Education

      The Dima Lab offers holistic, culturally sensitive real-world experience of a Muslim woman’s care transition.

      LOS ANGELES, June 3, 2019 – As the leader in immersive virtual reality (VR) health care training and education, Embodied Labs today announced The Dima Lab where learners embody a Lebanese-American Muslim woman with Lewy body dementia (LBD) with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) to gain firsthand experience of the care transition challenges for Dima and her family.

      “We’re excited to debut our latest Lab focusing on Lewy body dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1 million Americans as well as Parkinson’s disease where there are 60,000 new cases each year,” said Carrie Shaw, CEO and co-founder of Embodied Labs. “Our mission is to contextualize health care diagnoses and care by transforming the training and education for both professional and family caregivers. Our Labs take learners from a passive to an active role where we literally put them into the shoes of the person with the disease. This holistic approach creates enhanced understanding, empathy and ultimately better quality of care.”

      During the Lab, learners embody Dima and journey through three stages of her life: her home environment living with her oldest son, her daughter-in-law and her two small grandchildren where she shows the first signs of the disorder; the second stage where she and her family meet with a neurologist to receive her LBD with PD diagnosis; and the third stage where the family makes a tough decision on having Dima move into an assisted living dementia care community to ensure her safety and constant care as her neurodegenerative disorder progresses. Throughout the experience users embody the progressive nature of LBD with PD symptoms, changing behavioral expressions and interactions, in intergenerational family and health care professional scenarios.

      Embodied Labs uses a gerontological biopsychosocial framework for its Lab training that make the educational quality unique and go beyond traditional classroom or passive online video learning. Using a VR headset and hand controllers for objects within the story, each Lab blends scientific knowledge through 360-degree biomedical illustrative animation as well as the socio-emotional experience of the person living with the disease. This immersive approach combines the power of simulation and storytelling. Pre- and post-assessments show that users increase their empathy, feel more confident about their performance and have more patience creating an enhanced patient-centric approach to care.

      ABI Research shows VR training has a 75 percent knowledge retention rate versus 10 percent for learning that includes reading or watching videos and only five percent for classroom learning. They report the enterprise VR training industry will reach $6.3 billion by 2022. The Dima Lab joins the other Embodied Labs on its immersive platform: The Alfred Lab, an African-American man with age-related macular degeneration; the Beatriz Lab, a Latina’s 10-year journey through the three stages of Alzheimer’s disease; the Clay Lab, a Vietnam veteran diagnosed with terminal cancer who, with his family and hospice workers present, experiences end-of-life. Upcoming Labs on aging include stories of mental health, LGBTQ aging, bone health, cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia.

      About Embodied Labs

      Embodied Labs, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the leading VR immersive learning platform for home care, senior living, hospice, medical and nursing schools, hospitals and employers interested in training HR departments to better support its caregiving employees. Working collaboratively with health care, medical experts and seasoned Hollywood filmmakers has led to Embodied Labs winning the AARP Innovation Labs Global Challenge, OpenIDEO Challenge and the XR Education Prize Challenge funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Learn more: