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Image via GeekosystemWhat’s the first thing that pops into your head when we say “Kinect?” Rehabilitation for stroke victims suffering from hemiparesis, right? Yeah, us too. That’s exactly what we think of now that we know all about a Kinect-based therapy developed by researchers from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

There’s something about taking a motion sensing device typically used for mindless video games and turning it into a helpful tool for those suffering from a weakness or inability to move one side of their body that makes us feel warm fuzzies in our heart, but also makes us feel a little embarrassed. While we’re playing hour upon hour of Mass Effect 3 using Kinect, Lynne Gauthier and her team of researchers are finding new ways to help those who suffer from hemiparesis using the same device. What are we doing with our life??

No time for an existential crisis now! Not when there’s so much explaining to do! The most effective form of treatment available for stroke victims is called Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy, or CI for short. Unfortunately, of those with hemiparesis, less than 1% are able to receive treatment. “Lack of access, transportation and cost are contributing barriers to receiving CI therapy,” Gauthier explains.  

Image via The Ohio State University So Gauthier and friends have developed a 3D gaming system that brings the CI therapy right to the patients’ homes. The user puts a glove filled with Kinect tracking sensors on his or her affected hand. The other hand gets to just hang out on a white pillow/glove thing and let the affected hand do all the work – that’s the “constraint” part of CI. The game is called Canyon Adventure and the user has to row down a river and snatch up bottles, fish, treasure chests, and more.

“This novel model of therapy has shown positive results for individuals who have played the game. Gains in motor speed, as measured by the Wolf Motor Function Test, rival those made through traditional CI therapy,” said Gauthier. “It provides intense high quality motor practice for patients, in their own homes. Patients have reported they have more motivation, time goes by quicker and the challenges are exciting and not so tedious.”

(Story & Video via Geekosystem

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Reader Comments (1)

This is a good article. I also play new games. Would like to know more about this.

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercheck over here

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