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Gaming Device Reinvigorates Rehabilitation

Gaming Device Reinvigorates Rehabilitation
August 12, 2014

Splatting mosquitoes and catching butterflies are now a core part of rehabilitation for some Healthvision clients with disabilities, thanks to an innovative gaming device originally developed for stroke patients.

Healthvision, a leading provider of home care and nursing services that support people with disabilities in their own homes, has partnered with ableX to pilot the gaming device this year. It has already proven so successful in helping stroke patients regain function that it has been rolled out across New Zealand and at a leading Australian hospital.

“But our view is that rehabilitation doesn’t just apply to stroke, it also applies to people with other types of neural injuries and disabilities” says Healthvision CEO, Dr Claudia Wyss. “For our clients with disabilities, it’s about getting their muscles that do work going again as best they can and having fun along the way.”

Fun is certainly on offer, with a choice of nine games including mosquito splat and butterfly catch. Trained ableX and Healthvision staff set up the device using a computer or tablet with a USB port, and adjust the games as required to reflect their client’s ability and progress.

At the end of each session, a heat map reveals the gamer’s range of motion and helps them identify where they are improving, providing positive reinforcement over time.

“Not that people need much encouragement to play,” Dr Wyss says. “It’s so much fun that most gamers don’t notice they’re using their muscles, improving their range of motion and boosting their physical and mental wellbeing at the same time.”

AbleX is now working with a leading New Zealand gaming company to develop more sophisticated games and also plans to take the device online to enable gamers to network and compete against one another.

“In fact, we’re looking at a range of new technologies that we think could complement traditional rehabilitation for people with disabilities,” Dr Wyss says. “We firmly believe that if we can give them as many tools as possible, then we can work together to enhance their wellbeing, increase their independence and improve their quality of life.”

Participation in the pilot is free for existing Healthvision clients and expressions of interest are also welcome. For more information, or to register your interest, please contact Healthvision on 0508 733 377.

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