BACKGROUND: Video-games are becoming a common tool to guide patients through rehabilitation because of their power of motivating and engaging their users. Video-games may also be integrated into an infrastructure that allows patients, discharged from the hospital, to continue intensive rehabilitation at home under remote monitoring by the hospital itself, as suggested by the recently funded Rewire project.
OBJECTIVE: Goal of this work is to describe a novel low cost platform, based on video-games, targeted to neglect rehabilitation.
METHODS: The patient is guided to explore his neglected hemispace by a set of specifically designed games that ask him to reach targets, with an increasing level of difficulties. Visual and auditory cues helped the patient in the task and are progressively removed. A controlled randomization of scenarios, targets and distractors, a balanced reward system and music played in the background, all contribute to make rehabilitation more attractive, thus enabling intensive prolonged treatment.
RESULTS: Results from our first patient, who underwent rehabilitation for half an hour, for five days a week for one month, showed on one side a very positive attitude of the patient towards the platform for the whole period, on the other side a significant improvement was obtained. Importantly, this amelioration was confirmed at a follow up evaluation five months after the last rehabilitation session and generalized to everyday life activities.
CONCLUSIONS: Such a system could well be integrated into a home based rehabilitation system.
- Software Design
- Video Games