Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute First In Arkansas To Implement REAL® System Virtual Reality for Physical Therapy

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute recently became the first in Arkansas to implement the REAL® Immersive System virtual reality system for physical therapy.

The REAL® Immersive System uses virtual reality and is designed to engage and motivate patients to complete their course of rehabilitation. The immersive, full presence REAL® System transports patients to a fun, virtual environment with therapeutic activities, empowering them on their rehabilitation journey. 

“Impairments affecting the upper body require extensive rehabilitation programs to help patients regain functionality,” said Julie Nix, president of Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute. “To motivate patients and encourage compliance to these programs, therapists frequently look for ways to make the exercises more engaging. The REAL® Immersive System is capable of helping patients better stay on track with their therapy.”

Virtual reality can be used to improve range of motion, enhance cognitive skills and induce neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections.

The REAL® Immersive System offers customizable sessions and objective progress tracking. It transports rehabilitation patients to a fully immersive, virtual world with an expanding library of REAL Activities and adjustable settings to support the individual needs of high-acuity to high-functioning patients. These activities promote:

  • Upper body
  • Core and balance
  • Cognition
  • Functional tasks, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) training
  • Distraction
  • Low-stimulation environments

Cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, the REAL® Immersive System is for adult patients to use under the supervision of a medical professional. The wireless system includes a virtual reality headset, a set of six sensors and a tablet that allows the clinician to administer and monitor the therapy session. The system can be customized for each patient’s upper body rehabilitation needs and has multiple activities and difficulty settings, so patients are engaged and challenged as they work toward their therapeutic goals. The REAL® System is versatile, meaning it can be used at the patient’s bedside, in a rehabilitation gym or in a mobile location.

In this virtual environment, patients view their body as a virtual image, or avatar, engaged in activities that would not be feasible in the actual world. It mirrors every movement a patient makes in real time, which helps the brain accept the avatar as the patient’s own body. Virtual reality software also often employs popular video game elements such as variability, rewards, and progress tracking to maximize patient enjoyment and engagement.

Baptist Health offers the REAL® Immersive System in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Conway. For more information, visit or call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.


About Baptist Health

For more than 100 years, Baptist Health has delivered All Our Best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.