Since 2005, gaming has been introduced in the health field. Many different consoles have incorporated video games that have been used to rehabilitate individuals. For instance, the Xbox has created a numerous amount of games that get your body moving “so to say”. Different consoles such as the VR, Caren and many more have devoted some of their time to create games with the sole focus of helping people recover. With that being said you read the title and ask, “Well; is gaming incorporated with healthcare?” Absolutely it is. And it is growing faster than ever.

CAREN

Caren is a virtual reality gaming system that is used for the rehabilitation of wounded humans. Caren is perfect for stroke-related injuries and sports rehab. Caren has been used to treat PTSD. Carens unique system is popular around the world; and is being used by some of the best and most advanced research facilities. The base facilities are located at the following: Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brooke Army Medical Center and more.


NINTENDO WII-HAB

The Nintendo Wii-Hab are games that are used in physical therapy (hence the name). These games are mostly tailored to patients that have injuries related to strokes, bone injuries, and combat wounds. The Wii-Hab helps the patient recover by making them move physically even though it may be hard or even incapable of doing so. Recently, Johns Hopkins researchers implemented the Wii’s Play and Fit video games into a 22-patient study. The researchers incorporated video game activities such as bowling and boxing into 42 physical therapy sessions for their patients. While they concluded, they needed additional research. the researchers found patients enjoyed the challenge the videos games presented and welcomed the change in their physical routines.


XBOX KINECT

The XBOX Kinect is probably the most popular. The Xbox Kinect has a vast array of interactive games. From Kinect sports to Star Wars. Each game requires you to move in some physical shape or form. Just Dance is an Xbox Kinect game where the player has to meet the exact dance moves as the ai. Moving constantly is what the game focuses on. This game requires the player to become flexible because not all the dance moves are easy. There have been a number of people who have lost a significant amount of weight by simply playing Just Dance on a regular basis.


MIXED REALITY… SKYFARER/PATIENT INTERFACE

Skyfarer and Patient Interface are both mixed reality video games that allow the patient to incorporate upper body exercise regimens in the everyday Nerdy life.  The Patient interface is a game where the patient sees an outline of themselves while performing each exercise. VERA (the virtual coach) provides real-time coaching and feedback. The patients can also communicate with their therapist. Skyfarer is similar to Patient Interface but strictly inputs upper body workouts.


In conclusion, the video game world is modifying the health industry quicker than a cheetah in a 100m dash. There are numerous amounts of video games that can help the patient recover quicker. There are many new consoles getting involved with the cross-reality of health and video games. Who would have ever thought that a “gamer” could be a bodybuilder? The old stereotype of a gamer is gone. With these new upcoming games, we might even see the world strongest man as a gamer. Who knows? The idea of mixing video games and health is great! It helps the patients recover quicker in a more interesting, creative way.

This post was written in collaboration with our two Summer Apprentices Jonathan and Myles from Playground City.