Advent Calendar 2009

3 - Serious Health Games for Stroke Rehabilitation

Today, on the third of December, we tack­le a seri­ous (and very good) pre­sen­ta­tion from James Burke, a Ph.D. stu­dent from the University of Ulster, who research­es games for seri­ous pur­pos­es (so-called Serious Games) such as stroke reha­bil­i­ta­tion. Games can be ide­al moti­va­tors for patients to engage in upper limb post-stroke reha­bil­i­ta­tion exer­cis­es. For this pur­pose, Burke and his team devel­oped a num­ber of Webcam games to fos­ter patient exer­cise (and Wii games are also dis­cussed such as the Wii Vibraphone game for wrist reha­bil­i­ta­tion).

Similar to what is done with the Wii Fit and EA Sports Active exer­cise games, the patient (or gamer) pro­file is stored to track progress of the exer­cis­es. The pre­sen­ta­tion also talks about the tech­nol­o­gy and game design ideas behind mak­ing these health games. The main take­away here for me is that the intu­itive input con­trol of cam­era and sen­sors has great poten­tial for reha­bil­i­ta­tion or seri­ous games.

Reference

J. W. Burke, M. D. J. McNeill, D. K. Charles, P. J. Morrow, S. M. McDonough, J. H. Crosbie, “Serious Games for Upper Limb Rehabilitation Following Stroke”, IEEE International Conference in Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS Games ’09), 23–24 March 2009.

On slide 15, James talks about the lim­i­ta­tion of the Wii Accelerometer to deter­mine a posi­tion in 3D space. I have recent­ly read a paper from David Scherfgen address­ing 3D track­ing with Wii remotes, which might be an inter­est­ing addi­tion to this research:

Scherfgen, D. and Herpers, R. 2009. 3D track­ing using mul­ti­ple Nintendo Wii Remotes: a sim­ple con­sumer hard­ware track­ing approach. In Proceedings of the 2009 Conference on Future Play on @ GDC Canada (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, May 12 — 13, 2009). FuturePlay ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 31–32.

Please also see Burke’s oth­er pub­li­ca­tions

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