iPads can be used for a lot of things, like playing games, watching movies, making documents and reading ebooks. Now iPads can be used to help stroke patients recover.
A neuroscientist from Australia discovered that stroke patients get bored easily by doing repetitive motor tasks, but they embrace video games that have motion controls wholeheartedly. And since a big part of recovering from stroke is perfecting repetitive motions, games like Veggie Samurai, Fruit Ninja and games from Wii’s library can provide patients a fun and effective way to recover.
“It’s difficult to even get young people to turn up to the rehabilitation sessions sometimes,” said Stuart Smith, a neuroscientist at the Neuroscience Research Australia in Sydney. “You can move a bag of sand across a desk thousands of times a day and see a very clear improvement, but no one’s going to do that.”
Unlike bags of sand, video games can provide a structured experience that has in-game rewards. Also, Fruit Ninja and Wii games are inexpensive and younger patients are already familiar to them, so it will boost their recovery.
This is not the first time games have been used to help people recover from illnesses. Hunter Hoffman and Sam Sharar, researchers at the University of Washington, have been using virtual reality-based games to help their patients manage pain.
“This is really just the beginning. We’re going to see these things get better and better,” said Smith.