Archive for category Video Games/Exergames

[Abstract] The feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a low-cost, virtual-reality based, upper-limb stroke rehabilitation device: a mixed methods study.



To establish feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of an adapted version of a commercially available, virtual-reality gaming system (the Personalised Stroke Therapy system) for upper-limb rehabilitation with community dwelling stroke-survivors.


Twelve stroke-survivors (nine females, mean age 58 years, [standard deviation 7.1], median stroke chronicity 42 months [interquartile range 34.7], Motricity index 14-25 for shoulder and elbow) were asked to complete nine, 40-min intervention sessions using two activities on the system over 3 weeks. Feasibility and acceptability were assessed through a semi-structured interview, recording of adverse effects, adherence, enjoyment (using an 11-point Likert scale), and perceived exertion (using the BORG scale). Assessments of impairment (Fugl-Meyer Assessment Upper extremity), activity (ABILHAND, Action Research Arm Test, Motor Activity Log-28), and participation (Subjective Index of Physical and Social Outcome) were completed at baseline, following intervention, and at 4-week follow-up. Data were analysed using Thematic Analysis of interview and intervention field-notes and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks. Side-by-side displays were used to integrate findings.


Participants received between 175 and 336 min of intervention. Thirteen non-serious adverse effects were reported by five participants. Participants reported a high level of enjoyment (8.1 and 6.8 out of 10) and rated exertion between 11.6 and 12.9 out of 20. Themes of improvements in impairments and increased spontaneous use in functional activities were identified and supported by improvements in all outcome measures between baseline and post-intervention (p < 0.05 for all measures).


Integrated findings suggested that the system is feasible and acceptable for use with a group of community-dwelling stroke-survivors including those with moderately-severe disability. Implications for rehabilitation To ensure feasibility of use and maintenance of an appropriate level of challenge, gaming technologies for use in upper-limb stroke rehabilitation should be personalised, dependent on individual need. Through the use of hands-free systems and personalisation, stroke survivors with moderate and moderately-severe levels of upper-limb impairment following stroke are able to use gaming technologies as a means of delivering upper-limb rehabilitation. Future studies should address issues of acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of personalised gaming technologies for delivery of upper-limb stroke rehabilitation in the home environment. Findings from this study can be used to develop future games and activities suitable for use in stroke rehabilitation.


via The feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a low-cost, virtual-reality based, upper-limb stroke rehabilitation device: a mixed meth… – PubMed – NCBI


, , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Online Game] Mobility Mission Online Game –

Mobility Mission Online Game

Mobility Mission is an entertaining online game that addresses post-stroke mobility challenges. Stroke is a serious condition, and learning to deal with the effects of surviving a stroke can be challenging. This game will help you gain a better understanding of post-stroke mobility challenges such as spasticity, paralysis, foot drop, as well as management and treatment options you can discuss with your healthcare provider. As you travel through the four levels of the game you will learn how to improve your safety at home and acquire tips to lower your risk of falling. Your journey is waiting!



via Mobility Mission Online Game |

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Mobile Game-based Virtual Reality Program for Upper Extremity Stroke Rehabilitation


Stroke rehabilitation requires repetitive, intensive, goal-oriented therapy. Virtual reality (VR) has the potential to satisfy these requirements. Game-based therapy can promote patients’ engagement in rehabilitation therapy as a more interesting and a motivating tool. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs can provide personalized home-based therapy with interactive communication between patients and clinicians. In this study, a mobile VR upper extremity rehabilitation program using game applications was developed. The findings from the study show that the mobile game-based VR program effectively promotes upper extremity recovery in patients with stroke. In addition, patients completed two weeks of treatment using the program without adverse effects and were generally satisfied with the program. This mobile game-based VR upper extremity rehabilitation program can substitute for some parts of the conventional therapy that are delivered one-on-one by an occupational therapist. This time-efficient, easy to implement, and clinically effective program would be a good candidate tool for tele-rehabilitation for upper extremity recovery in patients with stroke. Patients and therapists can collaborate remotely through these e-health rehabilitation programs while reducing economic and social costs.


via Mobile Game-based Virtual Reality Program for Upper Extremity Stroke Rehabilitation. – PubMed – NCBI

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Application of Commercial Games for Home-Based Rehabilitation for People with Hemiparesis: Challenges and Lessons Learned

Objective: To identify the factors that influence the use of an at-home virtual rehabilitation gaming system from the perspective of therapists, engineers, and adults and adolescents with hemiparesis secondary to stroke, brain injury, and cerebral palsy.

Materials and Methods: This study reports on qualitative findings from a study, involving seven adults (two female; mean age: 65 ± 8 years) and three adolescents (one female; mean age: 15 ± 2 years) with hemiparesis, evaluating the feasibility and clinical effectiveness of a home-based custom-designed virtual rehabilitation system over 2 months. Thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data from therapists’ weekly telephone interview notes, research team documentation regarding issues raised during technical support interactions, and the transcript of a poststudy debriefing session involving research team members and collaborators.

Results: Qualitative themes that emerged suggested that system use was associated with three key factors as follows: (1) the technology itself (e.g., characteristics of the games and their clinical implications, system accessibility, and hardware and software design); (2) communication processes (e.g., preferences and effectiveness of methods used during the study); and (3) knowledge and training of participants and therapists on the technology’s use (e.g., familiarity with Facebook, time required to gain competence with the system, and need for clinical observations during remote therapy). Strategies to address these factors are proposed.

Conclusion: Lessons learned from this study can inform future clinical and implementation research using commercial videogames and social media platforms. The capacity to track compensatory movements, clinical considerations in game selection, the provision of kinematic and treatment progress reports to participants, and effective communication and training for therapists and participants may enhance research success, system usability, and adoption.


via Application of Commercial Games for Home-Based Rehabilitation for People with Hemiparesis: Challenges and Lessons Learned | Games for Health Journal

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[WEB SITE] Rutgers VR spinoff moves to NJEDA incubator

New Jersey Economic Development Authority
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies in North Brunswick.

Virtual reality is mostly known as a platform for gamers — allowing its users to escape from the real world by commanding the Enterprise, rescuing their child from a post-apocalyptic wasteland or being transported smack-dab into the middle of a murder mystery.

However, there’s another angle at play.

It can also help alleviate symptoms and improve the health of people who’ve suffered illnesses and injuries.

Patients who have suffered stroke, dementia and traumatic brain injuries are using virtual reality as part of their rehabilitation therapy, thanks to technology developed by Bright Cloud International Corp.

BCI, a Rutgers University spinoff, announced earlier this month it moved its operations into the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies in North Brunswick. The move will expand the CCIT’s footprint in New Jersey as a life sciences incubator.

“Having spent the past 30 years here, I know the intrinsic value that New Jersey offers entrepreneurs, including its strong academic institutions and its dynamic life sciences community. I also wanted to maintain strong ties with Rutgers and to offer jobs for students and graduates. In return for the decades of support I have received from the university, I wanted to strengthen BCI while also benefitting Rutgers,” said Grigore “Greg” Burdea, BCI founder and president.

The rehabilitation system, known as BrightBrainer, is a self-contained and mobile rehabilitation medical device that has custom virtual reality therapy games.

The system, which is available for lease or purchase, targets motor skills such as motor control, speed of movement, endurance, hand-eye coordination and task sequencing. It also targets cognitive abilities, including attention, short-term visual and auditory memory, working memory, reading comprehension and dual tasking.

The virtual reality system, according to BCI, is useful in a variety of health care settings, including outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities and medical adult day programs.

“Our biggest success to date is the BrightBrainer rehabilitation system. I am proud that it reduces care costs, increases access to care and improves therapy outcomes,” Burdea said.

A team of researchers, engineers, physicians, therapists and game developers created the games, which adapt to each individual patient.

According to BCI, BrightBrainer has been found to benefit a patient’s motor and cognitive skills, as well as a patient’s emotional state, leading to an increased quality of life.

“We know that the brain can rewire itself to bypass non-working neurons, so our technology helps patients build that bypass to regain use of their bodies,” Burdea said. “It also puts a new and interactive spin on the monotony of occupational therapy, bringing an age-old industry into the 21st century.”

Burdea said he moved the incubator to CCIT because of its environment, access to networking and investors, and opportunities for increased visibility.

“Understanding and responding to the needs of the market is imperative to the state’s ability to retain and attract innovative companies and top talent,” EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “Nurturing early-stage companies is just one facet of Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s vision of a more robust and equitable economy, and CCIT offers a model of what can be achieved through collaboration between the private, public and academic sectors.”

via Rutgers VR spinoff moves to NJEDA incubator – ROI-NJ

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Proceeding] Mobile, Exercise-agnostic, Sensor-based Serious Games for Physical Rehabilitation at Home – Full Text PDF

Serious games can improve the physical rehabilitation of patients with different conditions. By monitoring exercises and offering feedback, serious games promote the correct execution of exercises outside the clinic. Nevertheless, existing serious games are limited to specific exercises, which reduces their practical impact. This paper describes the design of three exercise-agnostic games, that can be used for a multitude of rehabilitation scenarios. The developed games are displayed on a smartphone and are controlled by a wearable device, containing inertial and electromyography sensors. Results from a preliminary evaluation with 10 users are discussed, together with plans for future work.

Full Text PDF

via Mobile, Exercise-agnostic, Sensor-based Serious Games for Physical Rehabilitation at Home

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[WEB SITE] Virtual reality to fight opioids? One researcher aims to treat addiction with joysticks

Virtual reality to fight opioids? Yes, researcher says

NASHVILLE — Video games were once Noah Robinson’s only way to cope.

When he couldn’t bear the challenges of growing up as an outsider, he fell into immersive worlds that eased his tensions and helped him feel less alone.

Now, as a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, Robinson is applying the same premise to an unconventional, high-tech therapy that might help addicts get a firmer grip on recovery.

By immersing them in a virtual world of swirling colors and abstract shapes, and then layering psychological principles over that experience, Robinson hopes to help patients separate themselves from the negative emotions and cravings that fuel addiction.

If he succeeds, his mentors believe he could be at the forefront of a groundbreaking new treatment for addicts, one that could prove to be especially significant as the nation battles the deadly opioid crisis.

“The only thing I know for sure is that most of the stuff that we’ve been doing thus far to get our arms around this crisis has not been working,” said Brian Wind, chief of clinical operations at a Murfreesboro, Tenn., location of JourneyPure, an inpatient rehabilitation center where Robinson tests his virtual reality therapy.

“We’ve got to get more proactive, and I believe that trying to find new and innovative solutions that may be of benefit to people is the way to go,” Wind said. “This seems to be just that.”

Kristin Evans a Detox Therapist and Clinical Masters Social Worker at JourneyPure at the River in Murfreesboro experiences a virtual reality gaming program that Noah Robinson Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student at Vanderbilt uses to help rehab patients on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Robinson, who monitors what Evans is experiencing, tries to encourage all the therapists to try out the program so they can recommend the therapy to their patients.

Goggles and joysticks: Tools to fight addiction?

The treatment itself can seem strange to the uninitiated — strange enough that mentors initially warned Robinson not to mention his interest in virtual reality in his application to Vanderbilt.

Patients strap bulky goggles over their heads and grab onto two joysticks.

From the outside, they look like a mash-up of a cross country skier and a hardcore gamer.

But the screens on the inside of the goggles transport them, and everywhere they look reveals a new corner of a bright and surreal landscape of sunbursts and technicolor swirls.

A headset allows them to communicate with their therapist, who appears in this world in the form of a cartoon avatar.

Different “rooms” in this virtual reality serve different purposes. A therapist might walk a patient through talk therapy in one, while another one designed like a bar gives recovering alcoholics the chance to practice turning down a drink in a low-pressure setting.

Robinson is quick to make one thing clear: This virtual reality, which he calls VR, is different from what people have experienced on their smartphones. It truly floods your senses, and almost completely separates you from your actual surroundings.

His theory is that the distraction of the virtual reality also will separate people from their anxieties and fears, making it easier for them to absorb messages from therapy.

Noah Robinson, a clinical psychology doctoral student at Vanderbilt University, monitors what Kristin Evans, a detox therapist, sees while using a virtual reality gaming system Feb. 22, 2018.
Helen Comer / DNJ

‘Almost innovative beyond its time’

That thinking was driven by his teenage years, when he used role-playing video games like “RuneScape” and online forums to escape the anxiety of realizing he is gay.

As he grew up and came out, he no longer craved the escape. But the impact of technology on his life lingered in the back of his mind.

While working as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in 2014, he began experimenting with virtual reality.

He bought virtual reality equipment of his own and quickly realized he could pair the same kinds of technologies he once enjoyed with innovative therapy to provide a healthy way to confront tough issues.

“I was just escaping, but what I saw with the VR is that its power could be used for a therapeutic purpose, not just escape,” said Robinson, who is now 26. “I realized the potential.”

Robinson was convinced the idea had legs. And when he applied to get his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt, he wanted to weave it into his work.

In 2017, a campus innovation hub known as the Wond’ry gave him space and funding to buy more equipment and pursue his goal.

“It is a big, hairy, audacious goal that he’s trying to achieve,” said Robert Grajewski, executive director of the Wond’ry. “It’s almost innovative beyond its time.”

Noah Robinson Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student at Vanderbilt and practicum student at JourneyPure at the River helps Kristin Evans a Detox Therapist and Clinical Masters Social Worker at JourneyPure at the River in Murfreesboro adjust the virtual reality goggles on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, before her VR gaming session.

When VR appears in therapy, ‘smiles start to emerge’

Robinson wasn’t initially sure how and where to apply the technology. It had barely even been discussed as a tool in psychology.

He came to JourneyPure for his work as a clinical psychology student and started testing the VR during sessions in 2017. Then something clicked.

“When I saw that patient who had so much pain put on the VR and start smiling and laughing, I felt chills and thought, ‘This is it,’” he said.

Reflecting on about 60 patients who have used it since, Wind was similarly optimistic.

“It’s rewarding to observe it when from underneath the big bulky mass you see smiles start to emerge,” he said. “They come out on the other side with an increase in positive emotions and a decrease in negative emotions.”

That’s a combination that can help prevent relapse, Wind said.

Now Robinson is committed to testing virtual reality in a scientific study that will attempt to quantify their anecdotal observations. Robinson and nine undergraduate Vanderbilt students with the university’s Hollon Research Group are working on the project, which should continue into the summer.

The hope is that patients will eventually be able to take VR equipment home, where they could have instant access to help when they need it.

As the project has moved further along, Robinson noticed a shift toward acceptance for his unorthodox idea, perhaps driven by the urgent need to find new treatments for opioid addicts.

When he presented information on the project at Harvard University earlier this month, people peppered him with questions.

“It’s a new direction. People are very excited about it,” he said. “Because it’s unusual, I guess.”

Robinson’s ambitions for the technology and its applications seem boundless — he plans to devote his career as a psychologist to refining its use.

“It feels like a calling, honestly.”

via | Virtual reality to fight opioids? One researcher aims to treat addiction with joysticks

, , , ,

Leave a comment

[VIDEO] Dynawheel Stroke Rehabilitation with Android Games – YouTube

via Dynawheel Stroke Rehabilitation with Android Games – YouTube

, , , ,

Leave a comment

[WEB SITE] Video Games Suggested as Mobility Aids for Stroke Patients

Published on


Researchers propose that video games be used as a complement to physiotherapy treatments to help improve the mobility of patients who have experienced ischemic strokes.

In their study, published in the PNAS Journal, researchers from Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) in San Sebastian and the London Imperial College analyzed the architecture of brain injuries in stroke patients.

They propose a new therapeutic pathway that complements the physical treatments received by these patients with therapies to overcome attention deficit disorders, such as working with video games.

“Patients with brain injuries in attention control areas also suffer motility control problems, even when the movement required by the task is very simple,” says BCBL researcher David Soto, in a media release from FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology.

The team explored the extent and location of brain injuries in 167 stroke patients for more than 3 years. Through a “mapping” performed with magnetic resonance, they identified the affected part and the type and size of the lesion, and analyzed the connectivity between the different areas of the brain.

Next, they subjected the patients to various motor tasks, some very simple, such as grabbing an object with force. After the tests, the researchers found that these tasks were “impaired” in those patients who had injuries in the area of the brain “involved” in attention, the release explains.

Soto notes that before this study was conducted it was thought that the control of movement and the attention control aspect were “different systems” with little relation to each other, and that the treatments enabled for the patients with cognitive injuries could not serve for those who had mobility problems. However, their research appears to suggest otherwise.

“We have to know first how our brain controls and moves to design effective therapeutic tools for stroke patients and specific therapies for each individual depending on where the injury has occurred,” he concludes.

To confirm these results, the next step will be to establish a clinical trial with patients suffering motor skills disorders due to a stroke and divide them into two groups: one of them undergoing physiotherapy treatment and the other with complementary cognitive training, per the release.

[Source(s): FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, Science Daily]


via Video Games Suggested as Mobility Aids for Stroke Patients – Rehab Managment

, ,

Leave a comment

[WEB SITE] IIT Scientists Have A New Use For Virtual Reality– Helping Stroke Victims!

Researchers at IIT Gandhinagar have incorporated an ingenious solution—computer-based VR games—to address upper-limb movement disorder in post-stroke victims.


A stroke is a medical condition where due to certain reasons, inadequate blood flow to the brain results in cell death. Strokes are one of the leading cause of death and disability, not only in India but all over the world. They affect about 15 million people worldwide and have left almost 5 million disabled.

According to studies, almost 75% of stroke victims become physically disabled, and out of those, 77% suffer upper limb weakness, with muscle numbness and difficulties in carrying out daily activities. Therefore, stroke rehabilitation plays an integral part in preventing post-stroke disabilities and helping a person return to regular life.

Physiotherapy is often an essential part of rehabilitation after a stroke and helps the patient to recover muscle strength, joint movement and a range of vital capacity.

Researchers at IIT Gandhinagar have incorporated an ingenious solution—computer-based VR games—to address upper-limb movement disorder in post-stroke victims.

Virtual reality or VR gives users a sense of touch when augmented with add-on instruments. Putting advances in the field of VR to use in the recovery of stroke patients, Dr Uttama Lahiri and her group have developed a technique which is a computer-based exercise platform, which is a performance-sensitive platform that can intelligently adapt itself according to the performance of patients.

 VR games help post-stroke victims fight disability

This virtual gaming world is augmented with a sense of touch in which patients can feel objects in the game environment and can manipulate objects with their movements. Using this as a cornerstone, patients interacting with the simulated environment can help in practising reaching and coordination tasks.

“Computer game-assisted upper limb recovery seems to be a novel method for assisting recovery of brain functions after stroke. Such game-based recovery may help in precise motor unit activation which makes the recovery, rational and task-oriented,” commented Dr Vijaya Nath Mishra, a stroke specialist at Sir Sunderlal Hospital, Banaras Hindu University, who is not connected with the study to India Science Wire.

A unique aspect of this virtual-reality exercise is that it can intelligently adapt itself based upon the task performance capability of the patient, allowing the user to be more motivated to complete the challenges and simultaneously ensure that he or she gets treated in the process of playing the game itself.

The software of the platform consists of 48 templates of VR-based ‘reaching’ and ‘coordination’ tasks, like navigating a car through obstacles and popping balloons, which ease the movement of the shoulder joint and upper limbs as prescribed in physiotherapy guidelines.


VR Goes help post-stroke victims fight disability
Screenshots from the VR game from popping balloons to navigating cars through obstacles.

The technique has been tested in a set of six patients with chronic stroke, who interacted with the system for 30 mins per day for a week. The results showed drastic performance improvements in the following:

(i) Increase in performance score
(ii) Reduced task completion time
(iii) Reduced performance errors

All imply an increase in terms of agility in the upper limbs.

The user-friendly and easy to operate software is not only capable of providing real-time feedback but is also individualised and adaptive to one’s capabilities. With the scores being monitored by a physiotherapist while the patient can take up the test in his home.

“We designed and validated this exercise platform among post-stroke patients, and the results are promising,” said Prof Lahiri in India Science Wire.


via IIT Scientists Have A New Use For Virtual Reality– Helping Stroke Victims!

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: