Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rice University Students Modify Wii for use in Therapy

Creative students from Rice University in Houston, Texas developed a Wii-Hab system to help patients during therapy at Shriner's Hospital. This new use of Wii in therapy, based on Wii balance board technology, helps improve balance and decrease dependence on balance aides. Team Equiliberator worked together to develop a system that proves to be relatively inexpensive, yet effective in encouraging participants to work toward improvements. These balance gains occur as the players enjoy age appropriate fun. Watch the video and read the article to learn how these students used Wii balance boards along with their own newly developed hand rail sensor system to create a Wii based therapy activity that also produces data for quantifying changes (improvements) in balance.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wii Use for Therapy After Stroke

A study lead by Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, director of Stroke Outcomes Research Unit, St. Michael Hospital’s (Toronto) , shows the value of Wii activities for individuals in therapy following a stroke. WiiHab - Rehabilitative Therapy Using The Wii by "THE WII OT" previously brought this study to readers' attention in February of 2010.
Recovering from a stroke requires a long process involving repetitive actions in order to provide the brain an opportunity to "rewire". For most stroke patients, who may naturally suffer depression following the loss of function, this requirement of repetitive, long-term therapy falls by the wayside. Wii offers this population a way to expand the benefits of occupational and physical therapy into the home setting, reaping improved outcomes while discovering a new, motivating use for leisure time.