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Virtual video games get physical therapy patients moving

5:48 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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GARFIELD HTS. -- The Village at Marymount is using innovative video therapy.

Linda Kolin recently had knee replacement surgery. She wasn't looking forward to the rehabilitation until she learned it involved playing a video game -- with her body.

The Village at Marymount's new Parker Hannifin Therapy and Wellness Center incorporates GestureTek Health's Interactive Virtual Reality Exercise System called IREX.

It's a computer-generated virtual reality therapy world that guides patients through interactive rehabilitation exercises, games and activities that target specific body parts. The performance is then measured and recorded to show improvement after each play.

The $20,000 system includes a camera, projector, computer and "green screen" room that puts the patient in the middle of a scene. 

Studies have shown this type of therapy can help improve balance, strength, endurance and speed when compared to traditional therapy. 

Linda says it's the reason she comes to therapy because it's fun.

Altercare of Mentor Center also offers an innovative virtual reality interactive system to help patients recover from cognitive and motor deficits, whether caused by stroke, traumatic brain injury, or by chronic and progressive neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

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