Archive for category Video Games/Exergames

[Abstract] A novel approach to integrate VR exer-games for stroke rehabilitation: Evaluating the implementation of a ‘games room’

Abstract:

This study evaluates the integration of virtual reality (VR) exer-games for people post-stroke through the implementation of a “exer-games room” in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Qualitative data (interviews with patients and clinicians) and quantitative data (from the first year of operation of the games room) are synthesized and reviewed to provide an overall interpretative evaluation. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) is used to analyze the successful and less successful factors involved in the implementation.

Source: A novel approach to integrate VR exer-games for stroke rehabilitation: Evaluating the implementation of a ‘games room’ – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Abstract] An adaptive self-organizing fuzzy logic controller in a serious game for motor impairment rehabilitation

Abstract:

Rehabiliation robotics combined with video game technology provides a means of assisting in the rehabilitation of patients with neuromuscular disorders by performing various facilitation movements. The current work presents ReHabGame, a serious game using a fusion of implemented technologies that can be easily used by patients and therapists to assess and enhance sensorimotor performance and also increase the activities in the daily lives of patients. The game allows a player to control avatar movements through a Kinect Xbox, Myo armband and rudder foot pedal, and involves a series of reach-grasp-collect tasks whose difficulty levels are learnt by a fuzzy interface. The orientation, angular velocity, head and spine tilts and other data generated by the player are monitored and saved, whilst the task completion is calculated by solving an inverse kinematics algorithm which orientates the upper limb joints of the avatar. The different values in upper body quantities of movement provide fuzzy input from which crisp output is determined and used to generate an appropriate subsequent rehabilitation game level. The system can thus provide personalised, autonomously-learnt rehabilitation programmes for patients with neuromuscular disorders with superior predictions to guide the development of improved clinical protocols compared to traditional theraputic activities.

Source: An adaptive self-organizing fuzzy logic controller in a serious game for motor impairment rehabilitation – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Thesis] Serious Games for Health Rehabilitation

FACULDADE DE ENGENHARIA DA UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO
Serious Games for Health Rehabilitation
Paula Alexandra Carvalho de Sousa Rego

Abstract
Serious Games are growing into a significant area spurred by the growth in the use of video games and of new methods for their development. They have important applications in several distinct areas such as: military, health, government, and education. As such, their purpose is to be used for other purposes than pure entertainment, which is normally associated with the concept of game. The interest for Serious Games arises from the fact that games have a set of features that makes them very effective to engage users and keep their motivation at higher levels.

From the above discussion, the design of computer games can offer valuable contributions to develop effective games in the rehabilitation area. In rehabilitation programs, one of the major problems reported are related to the motivation and engagement of patients in the exercises training sessions using traditional therapy approaches. Patients rapidly lose their interest and get bored doing the, usually repetitive, rehabilitation tasks.

This thesis addresses Serious Games for Health Rehabilitation (SGHR), and provides an indepth study and survey of the existent games and features. With this study we were able to devise a taxonomy that enables researchers and practitioners to use a systematic approach to study, classify and compare SGHR. This taxonomy is validated by a set of experts in the interrelated domain of knowledge. The research led us to identify and propose several important features and guidelines to include in SGHR. As a result, we propose, discuss and describe a framework for the development of serious games. The framework integrates a set of features of natural and multimodal interaction, social interaction (collaboration and competitiveness) and progress monitoring, which can be used to increase the motivation of the patients during the rehabilitation process.

To validate the proposed framework and features, a set of serious games were developed. These games are intended to be used in rehabilitation sessions, and their main goal is to increase the users’ motivation during the rehabilitation process. The developed games were designed based on well established rehabilitation systems and rehabilitation tasks. We describe the design and implementation of the games with respect to our proposed framework. The resulting game platform includes a set of features, such as competitiveness, collaboration and handicap mechanisms, with the aim of promoting the engagement and motivation of the patients involved in the rehabilitation process. The resulting system is a Web platform that enables games to be played online, making it more accessible to all users, including patients in rehabilitation. Besides that, the web platform provides a low cost solution to patients training and enables home rehabilitation, in addition to traditional therapy.

Final experiments were performed in order to validate the proposed framework and provide scientific evidence that it is possible to use serious games for health rehabilitation to increase the motivation of users. Experiments were conducted with healthy people and elderly users. The scores achieved in all the tests used were quite good with emphasis for the very good SUS and IMI scores achieved.

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[Abstract] A Longitudinal EMG Study of Complex Upper-limb Movements in Post-stroke Therapy. 1: Heterogeneous EMG Changes despite Consistent Improvements in Clinical Assessments

Post-stroke weakness on the more-affected side may arise from reduced corticospinal drive, disuse muscle atrophy, spasticity, and abnormal co-ordination. This study investigated changes in muscle activation patterns to understand therapy-induced improvements in motor-function in chronic stroke compared to clinical assessments, and to identify the effect of motor-function level on muscle activation changes.

Electromyography (EMG) was recorded from 5 upper-limb muscles on the more-affected side of 24 patients during early- and late-therapy sessions of an intensive 14-day program of Wii-based Movement Therapy, and for a subset of 13 patients at 6-month follow-up. Patients were classified according to residual voluntary motor capacity with low, moderate or high motor-function. The area under the curve was calculated from EMG amplitude and movement duration. Clinical assessments of upper-limb motor-function pre- and post-therapy included the Wolf Motor Function Test, Fugl-Meyer Assessment and Motor Activity Log Quality of Movement scale.

Clinical assessments improved over time (p<0.01) with an effect of motor-function level (p<0.001). The pattern of EMG change by late-therapy was complex and variable, with differences between patients with low compared to moderate or high motor-function. The area under the curve (p=0.028) and peak amplitude (p=0.043) during Wii-tennis backhand increased for patients with low motor-function whereas EMG decreased for patients with moderate and high motor-function. The reductions included: movement duration during Wii-golf (p=0.048, moderate; p=0.026, high), and Wii-tennis backhand (p=0.046, moderate; p=0.023, high) and forehand (p=0.009, high); and the area under the curve during Wii-golf (p=0.018, moderate) and Wii-baseball (p=0.036, moderate). For the pooled data over time there was an effect of motor-function (p=0.016) and an interaction between time and motor-function (p=0.009) for Wii-golf movement duration. Wii-baseball movement duration decreased as a function of time (p=0.022). There was an effect on Wii-tennis forehand duration for time (p=0.002) and interaction of time and motor-function (p=0.005); and an effect of motor-function level on the area under the curve (p=0.034) for Wii-golf.

This study demonstrated different patterns of EMG changes according to residual voluntary motor-function levels despite heterogeneity within each level that was not evident following clinical assessments alone. Thus, rehabilitation efficacy might be underestimated by analyses of pooled data.

Source: Frontiers | A Longitudinal EMG Study of Complex Upper-limb Movements in Post-stroke Therapy. 1: Heterogeneous EMG Changes despite Consistent Improvements in Clinical Assessments | Neurology

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[WEB SITE] FDA Clears SaeboVR Virtual ADL Rehabilitation System

SaeboVR, a virtual ADL (activities of daily living) rehabilitation system designed to provide real-life challenges to help neurological patients rehabilitate their upper extremities, has recently received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Manufactured by medical device company Saebo Inc, SaeboVR features an ADL-focused virtual world that provides patients with real-life situations challenging patients to use their impaired upper limbs to perform, such as picking up, transferring, and manipulating virtual objects. Recreations include making breakfast, taking care of a pet, or planting a virtual garden.

Additional features include a virtual assistant to educate users and provide feedback, as well as the ability to be customized to challenge patients’ endurance, speed, range of motion, coordination, timing, and cognitive demand.

After each session, SaeboVR displays graphical reports, according to a media release from Saebo.

The system was borne from National Institutes of Health-sponsored research demonstrating the efficacy of using virtual ADL to help rehabilitate the upper extremities.

“The release of SaeboVR culminates 5 years of NIH-sponsored R&D and successful clinical trials that have provided a solid body of evidence for the efficacy of simulated ADLs in improving upper extremity motor function in individuals with acquired brain injury,” says Richard Adams, PhD, from Barron Associates Inc, which has partnered with Saebo Inc to create the system.

SaeboVR opens new possibilities for clinicians and patients,” notes Saebo Inc’s co-founder, Henry Hoffman, per the release. “Prior to this break-through technology, motion capture programs were primarily focused on games rather than real-life functional tasks. Although computer-based exercises can be beneficial, often times, therapists report that games are not always appropriate for a certain patient population or lack significance to maintain a client’s motivation and engagement.”

[Source(s): Saebo Inc, PR Newswire]

Source: FDA Clears SaeboVR Virtual ADL Rehabilitation System – Rehab Managment

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[WEB SITE] Hocoma and Saebo Partner to Deliver Compact, Affordable Rehabilitation Solution for Upper Extremities

ArmeoSenso with SaeboMas Mini Body Weight Support System (Photo: Business Wire).

July 17, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

ZURICH & CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hocoma and Saebo today announced a partnership to improve the training possibilities for patients with moderate to mild impairments of the upper extremities. Together, the SaeboMas Mini and the ArmeoSenso deliver an easy-to-use, compact solution at an affordable price.

“Saebo is committed to helping patients around the globe achieve a new level of independence”

“Saebo is committed to helping patients around the globe achieve a new level of independence,” said Henry Hoffman, co-founder of Saebo. “Together with an industry leader such as Hocoma, we believe we can maximize the potential of our affordable and evidence-based solutions.”

“We are very excited to be working with Saebo,” said Hocoma CEO and co-founder Dr. Gery Colombo. “Neurological disorders afflict thousands of people each year and by teaming up with another leading player in the industry, we expect to be able to help even more patients recover faster and with better long-term outcomes than conventional rehabilitation therapy can offer.”

In the future, Saebo and Hocoma plan to deepen their partnership. Further solutions are expected to be optimized so that they complement each other as perfectly as the SaeboMas Mini and the ArmeoSenso. Dr. Gery Colombo added: “Our ultimate goal is to provide all patients with a compact, affordable rehabilitation solution – regardless of the specific body parts affected by neurological damage.”

The new partnership can be experienced live at Rehabweek in London from July 17-21.

About Hocoma

A successful therapy begins in patients’ heads. In the firm belief that – step by step – they can reach their goals and regain quality of life.

This is what we work for at the Swiss medtech company Hocoma. With technologies and ideas that look at functional movement therapy from a completely different angle. Because they enable independent exercises and create maximum motivation. Because they challenge people to take courage and support their hopes with personal achievements.

We are committed to creating the ideal therapy. Our awarded robotic and sensor-based devices offer solutions for intensive gait therapy (Lokomat®, Andago®), functional therapy of the upper extremities (Armeo®), robotic mobilization and functional electrical stimulation in early rehabilitation (Erigo®) as well as functional movement therapy within low back pain treatment (Valedo® Therapy Concept) at home and at the clinic. They are the result of intensive research, consistent development and continuous exchange with patients, therapists and partners in research and science.

Those who see to break new grounds need to stay open to exceptional ideas. They have the potential of being exceptionally effective. This guiding principle by Hocoma founder and CEO Dr. Gery Colombo has accompanied us since our start in 2000 and is still lived and implemented by our dedicated employees around the world. At the headquarters in Volketswil near Zurich (Switzerland) and the subsidiaries in the USA, Singapore and Slovenia they achieved a turnover of 30 million CHF in 2016.

About Saebo

Saebo, Inc. is a medical device company primarily engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of affordable and novel clinical solutions designed to improve mobility and function in individuals suffering from neurological and orthopedic conditions. With a vast network of Saebo-trained clinicians spanning six continents, Saebo has helped over 250,000 clients around the globe achieve a new level of independence.

For more information about Saebo, please visit: www.saebo.com.

Product Disclaimer

All Hocoma products are medical devices and must be used in strict adherence to the User Manual; failure to do so may result in serious personal injury. It is strongly recommended that you regularly consult Hocoma’s website (www.hocoma.com/legalnotes) for the latest available information. Please contact Hocoma in case of any questions.

Use only under the supervision of qualified medical personnel. However, certain Hocoma products are marketed for home use and must be strictly used according to the recommendations of your medical care provider who is knowledgeable about your specific needs. Consult the User Manual and Hocoma’s website (www.hocoma.com/legalnotes) for appropriate product designation. Failure to obtain and follow the recommendations of your medical care provider may result in serious personal injury.

This information provides details about medical products which may not be available in all countries and may not have received approval or market clearance by all governmental regulatory bodies throughout the world. Nothing herein should be construed as a solicitation or promotion of any product or of an indication of any specific use for any product which is not authorized by the laws and regulations of the country where the reader of this information resides.

Contacts

Hocoma AG
Mike Fuhrmann, +41 43 444 23 65
Chief Creative Officer
media@hocoma.com
Fax: +41 43 444 22 01
www.hocoma.com

Source: Hocoma and Saebo Partner to Deliver Compact, Affordable Rehabilitation Solution for Upper Extremities | Business Wire

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[WEB SITE] How video games affect the brain 

There is increasing research focused on the impact of video gaming on the brain.

 

Video gaming is clearly a popular form of entertainment, with video gamers collectively spending 3 billion hours per week in front of their screens. Due to their widespread use, scientists have researched how video games affect the brain and behavior. Are these effects positive or negative? We examine the evidence.

Source: How video games affect the brain – Medical News Today

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[Abstract] Virtual Reality and Serious Games in Neurorehabilitation of Children and Adults: Prevention, Plasticity, and Participation

Use of virtual reality (VR) and serious games (SGs) interventions within rehabilitation as motivating tools for task specific training for individuals with neurological conditions are fast-developing. Within this perspective paper we use the framework of the IV STEP conference to summarize the literature on VR and SG for children and adults by three topics: Prevention; Outcomes: Body-Function-Structure, Activity and Participation; and Plasticity. Overall the literature in this area offers support for use of VR and SGs to improve body functions and to some extent activity domain outcomes. Critical analysis of clients’ goals and selective evaluation of VR and SGs are necessary to appropriately take advantage of these tools within intervention. Further research on prevention, participation, and plasticity is warranted. We offer suggestions for bridging the gap between research and practice integrating VR and SGs into physical therapist education and practice.

Source: Virtual Reality and Serious Games in Neurorehabilitation of… : Pediatric Physical Therapy

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[WEB SITE] Virtual Reality Brings Hope to Stroke Survivors

Games Technology students and Computer Science lecturers from Murdoch’s School of Engineering and Information Technology are helping stroke survivors put their lives back together.The team from Murdoch has worked with clinicians from the West Australian Neuroscience Research Institute (WANRI) to develop a computer-based Virtual Reality (VR) rehabilitation program called Neuromender, which will greatly advance the recovery of stroke survivors.

The Neuromender software captures detailed upper body data in real-time as survivors fly a ‘wing-man’ through a virtual world, with the task difficulty levels adjusted automatically by the system.

“Neuromender is a low-cost computer-based system that enables users to interact with a multisensory simulated environment in the comfort and convenience of their own home,” said Senior Lecturer and Project Leader Dr. Mohd Fairuz Shiratuddin.

Stroke is the number one cause of long-term disability in adults in Australia, effecting more than 50,000 Australians each year.

 

Image taken from the VR system.

Neuromender will greatly advance the recovery of stroke survivors. Credit: Murdoch University.

Currently within Australia, there are no established evidence-based VR rehabilitation programs with detailed, high resolution monitoring for the neurorehabilitation of the upper limb of stroke survivors.

As survivors use the Neuromender System, data is sent to the Neuromender’s central server, where survivors’ progress can be assessed online by Clinicians.

“Clinicians assign rehabilitative tasks to stroke survivors in their care. These tasks can be performed using any recent off the shelf sub $700 personal computer. The tasks have been specifically designed to be engaging and system is adaptive to keep the survivors’ motivation levels high,” said Shri Rai, Academic Chair of Computer Science and Games Technology.

Up to 75 per cent of stroke survivors continue to experience motor deficits associated with reduced quality of life, either as a direct result of the stroke itself or longer-term effects of disuse, inactivity and/or lifestyle changes after stroke.

“Hand and arm weakness is a common problem following stroke that substantially impacts on the quality of life of stroke survivors,” said Associate Professor Michelle Byrnes from WANRI.

“This VR rehabilitation program will have immense, positive, long-term implications for the upper rehabilitation and recovery of stroke survivors in the future.”

The motivation for developing an economical software system that could assist the rehabilitation of stroke survivors came from Dr. Shiratuddin, whose mother is a stroke survivor.

“Neuromender is designed to be extensible, and will be expanded to include more interactive and engaging contents in the near future,” he said.

About this neurology and technology research

A pilot trial is set to begin in the summer of 2016 featuring 20 stroke survivors.

Source: Luke McManus – Murdoch University
Image Credit: The image is credited to Murdoch University
Video Source: The video is available at the Murdoch University YouTube page

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[ARTICLE] Robotic-assisted serious game for motor and cognitive post-stroke rehabilitation – Full Text PDF

 

Abstract

Stroke is a major cause of long-term disability that can cause motor and cognitive impairments. New technologies such as robotic devices and serious games are increasingly being developed to improve post-stroke rehabilitation. The aim of the present project was to develop a ROBiGAME serious game to simultaneously improve motor and cognitive deficits (in particular hemiparesis and hemineglect). In this context, the difficulty level of the game was adapted to each patient’s performance, and this individualized adaptation was addressed as the main challenge of the game development. The game was implemented on the REAplan end-effector rehabilitation robot, which was used in continuous interaction with the game. A preliminary feasibility study of a target pointing game was run in order to validate the game features and parameters. Results showed that the game was perceived as enjoyable, and that patients reported a desire to play the game again. Most of the targets included in the game design were realistic, and they were well perceived by the patients. Results also suggested that the cognitive help strategy could include one visual prompting cue, possibly combined with an auditory cue. It was observed that the motor assistance provided by the robot was well adapted for each patient’s impairments, but the study results led to a suggestion that the triggering conditions should be reviewed. Patients and therapists reported the desire to receive more feedback on the patient’s performances. Nevertheless, more patients and therapists are needed to play the game in order to give further and more comprehensive feedback that will allow for improvements of the serious game. Future steps also include the validation of the motivation assessment module that is currently under development.

Full Text PDF

 

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