Saturday, August 21, 2010

Concussion Research Using Wii Fit [Exergame, WiiHab]

Can an off-the-shelf video game be used to collect data and diagnose/treat concussed athletes? Here is a pretty  balanced article from the Washington Post article about universities (Maryland, Ohio State, and others) using Wii Fit Balance Board and the software to collect data on their athletes.

The CDC estimates 1.6-3.2 million concussions occur yearly in sports and other recreational activities. A concussion can happen in any sport, and it is important to quickly recognize and treat the injury. Unfortunately, this does not always occur, and athletes are at risk for complications.

Like all fields in the Games for Health sphere, we are at the beginning stages of research of using consumer off-the-shelf (COTS) games and customized games (like Red Hill Studios Parkinson's Therapy Game) for exercise, diagnosis, and rehabilitation, of various conditions.  The following list (non-exhaustive) of uses is certainly growing and it looks like that trend will continue as professionals in all areas seek to find better solutions to their problems. If I've missed something please let me know and point me to a link that I can add to this list.
  • Exercise (cardiovascular, strength, balance, flexibility)
  • Rehabilitation with appropriate baseline info (cardiovascular, strength, balance, flexibility)
  • Cognitive training
  • Mobile Games
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Psychological Disorders / Learning Disabilities
Be sure to check out the resources for Exergaming at the Exergaming Network Wiki.

After the Good Morning America Health video segment we did in New York City a couple of weeks ago, it's good to see more news pieces focusing on different areas of Games for Health.  Let me know if you spot something in the news and we'll do our best to share the info to the rest of our interest groups.

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