Ivan Phelan

Sheffield Hallam University

Ivan Phelan
Director of the Impact VR Lab
Principal Research Fellow
Sheffield Hallam University

Ivan Phelan, Director of the Impact VR Lab, is a Principal Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University whose pioneering virtual reality solutions in healthcare have supported a range of unmet needs. Embracing a co-design approach has been central to their ethos. By involving key stakeholders, including patients and healthcare professionals, in the development process, Ivan and his team have been able to create systems that effectively meet the unique challenges faced by patients and healthcare providers.

Through his innovative approach, Ivan has developed a range of impactful applications that address critical healthcare challenges. From prosthetic training to pain distraction, and Upper and Lower limb rehabilitation to assisting with Dysphagia, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and Social Anxiety, his solutions have shown promise in enhancing the quality of life for patients and advancing healthcare practices.

His efforts have been acknowledged by UK universities, where he was highlighted as one of their top creative sparks. This recognition is part of a broader campaign aimed at highlighting the remarkable contributions of universities in the UK to the country's creative excellence.
Ivan was honoured by The Game Awards Future Class 2022, which featured him among 50 inspiring individuals who represent the bright, bold, and inclusive future of video games. This recognition not only highlights his innovative work in virtual reality but also demonstrates his influence and impact on the gaming industry.

Additionally, his virtual reality game Luna’s Light, designed to transform painful rehabilitation into an enjoyable and effective experience for children, received the prestigious Best Health Game award at the 2023 Games for Change ceremony.

11:30am - 12:00pm (GMT+3)

October 20 Friday

Rehabilitation in the Virtual Age: Using Virtual Reality to Support Patient Recovery - Case Studies from the Sheffield Hallam University