XBOX Kinect Helps with Stroke Rehabilitation
Each year, two-thirds of the 700,000 Americans who survive a stroke each year require rehabilitation. But only one in three of those survivors actually do the at-home exercises recommended by their physical therapist.
That number may rise, thanks to a fun new way for patients to work on regaining movement and mobility in their upper limbs. A team of researchers at Ohio State University just received a $650K grant to create a game on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect video game console. The game would allow patients with mild to moderate upper-limb impairment to perform guided CI (Constraint Induced) therapy without having to leave their home.
In standard stroke rehabilitation, patients get only a few hours of therapy each week and tend to develop what’s known as “non-use,” in which they avoid use of the affected arm because it’s clumsy and awkward. CI therapy was designed to overcome non-use by restraining the unaffected arm and boosting the intensity of therapy to several hours a day over a period of two weeks.
CI therapy has shown to be effective in improving upper extremity mobility in patients both immediately after the stroke, and after time has passed. This type of therapy has also helped in changes to brain activity.
The game will use Kinect’s motion-capture technology to guide patients through a series of therapeutic exercises set in a river adventure theme. Patients would visit a clinic for an initial consultation, and the game would guide them through exercises at home.