With the appearance of new gaming platforms such as Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation and Microsoft’s Kinect, we unexpectedly received a new tool for rehabilitation. You may ask “Why?” The answer is simple: It is  possible because the control system in these devices is based on the person’s body movements which are transferred to the game world during a simulation session. In specific medical cases, this feature affects positively the progress of regaining by a patient control of his or her body.

Nowadays, the possibility of interaction between the patient and the game environment is even greater because of the virtual reality goggles. The VR google applications require active participation of the player, which enhances technical capabilities of the device.

Also, by being safely engaged in a new learning experience, the player becomes more self-confident VR goggles can be freely used outside the hospital. Besides, they are so motivating that patients use them longer and more regularly than standard rehabilitation equipment.

Let’s see what inventors, researchers, designers have to say about their products:

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After a stroke, people often have difficulties moving and using their arm, which result in long-term disabilities. We will be testing an affordable virtual reality rehabilitation system. It provides a video game-like environment, allowing stroke patients to practice a variety of specific arm movements. Testing will take place at McGill University and in Malaysia. We hope to show that this rehabilitation system can be effective at improving arm function, independence and well-being in stroke patients.

source: http://www.grandchallenges.ca/grantee-stars/0106-01/

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CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment) by Motek Medical. A hardware and software system for registration, evaluation and training of functional human behaviour. CAREN systems always consist of a motion base, motion capture, a projection screen and the D-flow software. There are three default models available, which can all be tailored to your specific needs.

source: motekforcelink.com

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SeeMe is a PC based, innovative, comprehensive, clinician–controlled exercise and diagnostic system. SeeMe is designed to aid the rehabilitation process, and track patients’ progress.

SeeMe is a PC based, innovative, comprehensive, clinician–controlled exercise and diagnostic system. SeeMe is designed to aid the rehabilitation process, and track patients’ progress. It improves coordination, balance, muscle strength, range of motion, reaction times, memory – the number of applications is getting bigger with system updates. SeeMe uses Microsoft’s Kinect technology.

source: virtual-reality-rehabilitation.com/what-is-seeme

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GestureTek’s Interactive Rehabilitation and Exercise System (IREX®) uses immersive video gesture control technology to place patients into virtual sport or gaming environments where they are guided through clinician prescribed therapeutic exercise regimes. Clinicians can design a fun, interactive exercise program that tests single joints, combined joint movements or full body function.

Patients are immersed in a full-body virtual world where they can interact with on-screen images and objects, designed to enhance the sense of “presence” for the patient. Real-time auditory and visual feedback further stimulates the patient, resulting in improved motivation and effort in rehabilitation exercises.

source: gesturetekhealth.com

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Magicmoovr aims to research, design and develop a virtual reality video game that helps patients to get better in the comfort of their own homes. An application adapting to the physical ability of the VR player, bringing fun all members of the family, including kids. Patient can use it with Leap Motion’s upcoming 180 degree field of view (FOV) hand-tracker at SXSW. We are proud that with our help it is possible to create a world where you can recover from a stroke using VR!

source: learn more about our projects

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MindMaze is a spin off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and in less than three years has become one of the top 10 healthcare start-ups in Switzerland. The company brings together an eclectic mix of computer scientists, neuroscientists, physicists and roboticists driven by a passion to enhance the quality of life of brain injury survivors. In less than three years the MindMaze team has developed and launched medical grade virtual reality products to stimulate neural recovery. MindMaze is now translating our VR and Neuroscience expertise into new fields of consumer health and technology.

We’re excited to announce that our Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) hospital based solution for early motor intervention, MindMotionPRO (v1), is now CE marked and approved for use in Hospitals and clinics in Europe. Designed in close collaboration with clinical experts in the neurorehabilitation domain, the system is mobile, and thus available for bedside use allowing early motor training in the sub-acute rehabilitation phase.

MindMotionPro is an immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) rehabilitation solution designed for hospital use. An aid to early rehabilitation, it offers repetitive task-specific training customizable to the specific needs of each patient, in a format that is both engaging and entertaining.

source: mindmaze.ch

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VR is used to create innovative tools, training platforms, and applications supporting selected areas of medical care:

  • Training – think mostly about surgical simulations and other specialized trainings, which requires being ready to face literally anything that comes through the ER door or just focus your team’s attention on following the procedure step-by-step
  • Treatment of phobias – VR medical simulations takes place in a fully controlled environment, where you can (literally) face your fears, practice strategies for coping with stress and prevent schemes to avoid difficult situations.
  • Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – simulations allowing to confront the person suffering from PTSD with the problematic environmental situation or just relax during another therapeutic session
  • Treatment of pain (caused by i.e.: burns or needle shots)
  • Treatment of phantom pain (a modern form of mirror therapy)
  • Treatment of neurological disorders / post-stroke rehabilitation – VR applications encouraging patients to physical activity through simple fun are a great tool for rehabilitation
  • Medical Imaging – allows you to create three-dimensional models of organs, analyzing them freely in space and spreading into smaller fragments, to better diagnose the problem.

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