Virtual games based self rehabilitation for home therapy system

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 2011 11th International Conference on Hybrid Intelligent Systems, HIS 2011, 2011, pp. 653 - 657
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It has been reported that 53,000 stroke events annually with ongoing costs are nearly $500 million per year for physical therapy care. This paper aims to provide effective and active rehabilitation for patients suffering from upper limb paresis, using gaming based a therapy technique. By disguising the tasks into more entertaining, patients are motivated to train for longer and more frequently. The advantage of this system can be a self-managed, at-home therapy system; reducing fatigue for physical therapists, and the time required for therapist-patient sessions. The system incorporates a virtual reality (VR) environment displaying both the games and a human model as feedback of the patients' actions whilst playing the games. Two games were developed, each targeting improvement of muscle strength, control, accuracy and speed. The difficulty of the games can be varied to suit a number of impairments and patient progress is monitored. The games are played using a Nintendo Wii controller. The successful improvements with lower costs associated with this system, are marked improvements for patients suffering from such a debilitating condition. © 2011 IEEE.
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