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Health Tech: Video Games for Stroke Recovery

We take our ability to move around for granted, but that can change in an instant from a stroke. New options for rehab can make recovery faster and less expensive.

The concept of smart clothing is appealing. Instead of strapping something to your wrist or sticking a Strokes are a leading cause of disability in the U.S. and every 40 seconds, someone suffers a stroke in the country. And many victims are left with impaired mobility. The standard treatment requires many trips to a rehab center to work with a physical therapist to recover the lost motor skills. A new study shows that a combination of telehealth sessions and in-home therapy can produce equivalent results in less time and at a lower cost. Patients were given a video game called “Recovery Rapids” that senses the movement of the player. The game requires them to control a kayak by moving their bodies and by simulating the movements of rowing and paddling. One test group had 5 hours of telehealth sessions along with self-managed gaming, while a control group spent 35 hours in a clinical setting with a trained therapist. At the end of the study, both groups had equivalent results. The home group spent less time with therapists and the overall cost was significantly lower.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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