Sheffield Hallam VR healthcare expert recognised by international gaming industry

14th December 2022

A Sheffield Hallam University researcher whose pioneering virtual reality (VR) technology in healthcare has helped amputees, burns victims and children with limb injuries to rehabilitate has been recognised internationally by The Game Awards.

and included in its prestigious Future Class 2022. 

Ivan Phelan, principal research fellow at Sheffield Hallam and director of Impact VR, is one of 50 inspiring individuals who represent the ‘bright, bold and inclusive future of video games’.   

Ivan’s projects have developed immersive and interactive VR games which considerably improve the health, wellbeing and lifestyles of children and adults who have been affected by neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, orthopaedic trauma and chronic pain.  

Impact VR is currently developing games to help dysphagia patients, children diagnosed with the rare muscle-wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and to support CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) in children with social anxiety (SAD).  

Ivan said: “Videogames have always played an important part in my life, and I have been fortunate that my career incorporates this keen interest in ways that have the potential to improve patient lives. I am so grateful to be part of The Game Awards?Future Class 2022. There are so many inspirational and talented people on this list. It is incredible to be even mentioned alongside them.” 

The Game Awards recognise and uphold creative and technical excellence in the global video game industry. It brings together a diverse group of game developers, game players and notable names from popular culture to celebrate and advance gaming's position as an immersive, challenging and inspiring form of entertainment. This year's Future Class cohort also includes Treyarch's Camille Ramseur, researcher Leon Y. Xiao and esports commentator Maah Lopez. 

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