Do you know that the Nintendo Wii can not only be used for gaming? It can now be used to help stroke victims recover! A team of researchers have come up with a rehabilitation game called Wehab that helps stroke sufferers regain their balance. The great thing about the Wehab is that, stroke sufferers can carry on their therapy at home! Their progress will be monitored by remote therapists.
Regaining balance is one of the foremost things that stroke victims have to learn again because it’s necessary in basic daily operations like walking and dressing. Developers of the Wehab are positive that the new device will help sufferers regain their balance more quickly than traditional therapy.
The Wehab includes a Wii balance board and web cameras that gathers data on the patient’s movements. The data gathered using the Wehab is placed on software that analyzes and visualizes the data enabling therapists and stroke sufferers a more solid take on their progress on real time. This way, therapists can direct their patients well regarding the activities that will help their rehabilitation more.
Exactly how the Wehab works, lead researcher Aaron Striegel said, “You plug in the Wehab system to your TV where it automatically connects to the Internet via a 3G or 4G data connection. On first starting it up, you are connected to your therapist who video chats with you to answer any questions as you start your rehab in the home setting. Under the watchful eyes of your therapist who can see you and the readings from your screen, you are walked through balance therapy exactly like you experienced in the clinic.”
Although the Wehab seems like a great therapy system, there are still some concerns behind its use. One of the major concerns is the patient’s safety. Since it involves remote monitoring, it means that the patient will be alone when getting in and out of the board. If his or her balance is still not that good, it could lead to further injuries.
But for those who want to try Wehab, the system will be available in 2012 for less than $1,500.