Playing at physiotherapy
Gaming technology can assist with physical therapy and rehabilitation, according to a team from Brazil. Writing in the International Journal of Auditing Technology, the team discusses the potential for the Microsoft Xbox games console and its motion sensor system, Kinect. The team has reviewed the use of this technology in the rehabilitation arena and concludes from their analysis, that the system has a positive role to play.
Ivo Pedro Gonzalez Junior, Fábio Madureira Garcia, Karla Souza Caggy Costa da Silva, Fernanda Xavier Ferreira, Jaqueline Ribeiro da Silva and Wylena Monteiro das Chagas of the Faculdade Adventista da Bahia, Brazil, point out that there have been many advances in the techniques, methods, resources, and instruments used to enable improvements in patient treatment and to reduce the time taken for an individual to return to "normal" life following injury, accident, surgery, or acute medical condition, such as non-lethal cerebral or spinal stroke.
The team points out that the games available promote movement, particular of the upper limbs and upper body, but perhaps more importantly than that "games tend to make patients momentarily forget their limitations and move motivated by the fun and immersive factor." This is a crucial insight into the development and further implementation of gaming technology for physiotherapy in a wide range of conditions. Moreover, where conventional physiotherapy may be perceived as a boring necessity and see many patients skip sessions through lack of motivation, the gaming approach could, for many, avoid the sinking into apathy and provide its own motivation for engaging with the therapy and improving patient outcomes.