Modified home video game shows promise for stroke rehabilitation

August 28, 2006

Engineers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, have modified a popular home video game system to assist stroke patients with hand exercises, producing a technology costing less than $600 that may one day rival systems 10 times as expensive.

The Rutgers hand rehabilitation system is an example of virtual rehabilitation, which combines virtual reality - computer-generated interactive visual environments in which users control actions in a lifelike way - with traditional therapy techniques. Virtual rehabilitation gives therapists new tools to do their jobs more effectively and engages patients who may otherwise lack interest or motivation to complete normal exercise regimens.

The Rutgers engineers are describing their work at the fifth International Workshop on Virtual Rehabilitation taking place Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 in New York City.

"Virtual reality is showing significant promise for promoting faster and more complete rehabilitation, but the cost of many systems is still prohibitive for widespread deployment in outpatient clinics or patients' homes," said Grigore Burdea, professor of electrical and computer engineering and a noted inventor of virtual rehabilitation technology. "While it's essential to keep pursuing breakthrough technologies that will initially be costly, it's just as important that we find ways to make innovative treatments accessible to the many patients who need them."

Rutgers' low-cost hand rehabilitation system is based on the commercially available Microsoft Xbox video game and Essential Reality P5 gaming glove that detects finger and wrist motions to manipulate on-screen images. The engineers made minor modifications to the equipment and created software that delivers two types of finger flexing exercises needed to help recover hand functions in stroke patients.

In one exercise, a patient attempts to wipe clean four vertical bars of "dirty" pixels that obscure a pleasant image on a computer display. The bars are erased in proportion to each finger's flexing motion, giving the patient immediate feedback on his or her performance. And in an exercise to promote finger flexing speed, a patient tries to make a fist quickly enough to "scare away" a butterfly flitting around on the screen.

The engineers noted that the gaming glove they use doesn't have the accuracy and resolution of gloves designed specifically for rehabilitation, nor can it measure exact joint movement or provide force feedback. But such systems may be attractive for clinics that can't afford more expensive equipment and could open the door for supplemental home training with remote monitoring by a clinician over an Internet connection.
-end-
The system is described in a workshop paper authored by Kira Morrow, Ciprian Docan and Burdea of Rutgers, and Alma Merians of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The International Workshop on Virtual Rehabilitation, chaired this year by Burdea, brings together research and clinical experts from 11 countries to discuss how virtual reality can help people recover from strokes, injuries and other physical disorders, as well as psychological trauma. It also features exhibits by eight vendors of commercial rehabilitation equipment and systems using robotics and virtual reality.

Rutgers University

Related Stroke Patients Articles from Brightsurf:

Stroke patients with COVID-19 have increased inflammation, stroke severity and death
Stroke patients who also have COVID-19 showed increased systemic inflammation, a more serious stroke severity and a much higher rate of death, compared to stroke patients who did not have COVID-19, according a retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study of 60 ischemic stroke patients admitted to UAB Hospital between late March and early May 2020.

Heart failure patients have similar odds of dementia-type brain lesions as stroke patients
A type of brain damage linked with dementia and cognitive impairment is as common in heart failure patients as it is in patients with a history of stroke, according to findings from the LIFE-Adult-Study presented today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology.

How to help patients recover after a stroke
The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients' brains.

Many stroke patients not screened for osteoporosis, despite known risks
Many stroke survivors have an increased risk of osteoporosis, falls or breaks when compared to healthy people.

Stroke patients treated at a teaching hospital are less likely to be readmitted
Stroke patients appear to receive better care at teaching hospitals with less of a chance of landing back in a hospital during the early stages of recovery, according to new research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Standardized stroke protocol can ensure ELVO stroke patients are treated within 60 minutes
A new study shows that developing a standardized stroke protocol of having neurointerventional teams meet suspected emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) stroke patients upon their arrival at the hospital achieves a median door-to-recanalization time of less than 60 minutes.

Drug reduces inflammation in stroke patients
An anti-inflammatory drug given to patients in the early stages of a stroke has been shown by researchers at The University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to reduce harmful inflammation.

Stenting system shown to benefit certain stroke patients
A specialized stenting system used to open blocked arteries in the brain resulted in a low complication rate among a specific group of patients with stroke histories, a study led by Cedars-Sinai researchers has found.

Combining stroke treatments shows improved outcomes for ELVO stroke patients
Intravenous thrombolysis pretreatment may improve mechanical thrombectomy outcomes in emergent large-vessel occlusions (ELVO) patients, according to a new study presented today at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's 14th Annual Meeting.

Stroke patients take the lead in their rehabilitation
EPFL spin-off Intento has developed a patient-controlled electrical-stimulation device that helps stroke victims regain mobility in paralyzed arms.

Read More: Stroke Patients News and Stroke Patients Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.