TECH BRIEF

Fight the good fight.

APC Australia - - Contents -

The rise of eSports

Last year, Sam­sung re­leased Be Fear­less — a project for its Gear VR de­vice to help peo­ple, through apps and games, face their fears and slowly over­come them. Well, vir­tual re­al­ity is al­ready help­ing peo­ple with phys­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ther­apy. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing feed­back from pa­tients, New­cas­tle move­ment ther­a­pist Ro­han O’Reilly in­tro­duced VR to make ther­apy ses­sions more in­spir­ing and help with mo­ti­va­tion. As he saw it, if you en­joy your re­hab, you’re more will­ing to try cer­tain ex­er­cises and you be­come more emo­tion­ally con­nected to what you’re at­tempt­ing, re­sult­ing in pa­tients try­ing harder and ac­tu­ally look­ing for­ward to their ses­sions.

Pa­tients who have suf­fered strokes are of­ten left with re­duced mo­bil­ity in their arms and hands, im­pact­ing on their in­de­pen­dence. More re­search is be­ing ded­i­cated to how video games and vir­tual re­al­ity can help in post-stroke re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion by height­en­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­cite­ment. VR and gam­ing con­soles can also be a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to many other phys­i­cal ther­apy equip­ment op­tions, not to men­tion more con­ve­nient for the home.

Ad­di­tion­ally, since the late 1990s, ‘se­ri­ous games’ (ie — games that are cre­ated with a ‘deeper’ goal than to just en­ter­tain, such as teach­ing prob­lem-solv­ing skills or in­creas­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity) have been used with chil­dren with cere­bral palsy to help in­crease their mo­tor skills. While this is an area that re­quires fur­ther re­search, it’s an ex­cit­ing prospect, that games could help the med­i­cal in­dus­try in this way.

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