GMA News Online

Kinect-enabled games used in pain care for kids

April 5, 2013 4:50pm
This is one case where Microsoft's motion-sensing accessory Kinect can be used for both fun and work at the same time.
A new pain care complex at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. uses Kinect-enabled video games as part of the "treatment" of the young players.

"The video games serve as a distraction for the children but also target their bodies the same way a physical therapy session would. Not only can doctors monitor heart rate or motion, but based on the observations, they can change treatment and therapy in real-time to adjust to kids' abilities," tech site Mashable said.
It said the program uses "specially designed games combined with Microsoft's Kinect technology" to let participants "improve their health without realizing they're receiving treatment."
"Pain is one of the most underserved areas in medicine in general. Until now, it has been impossible to quantitatively measure and monitor chronic pain in children ... This is one of the largest advancements in pain medicine in the last several years," Dr. Sarah Rebstock, clinical director and a leader in the initiative, told Mashable.
During the game, children are placed in an "intergalactic world where they can paint, play and exercise, all while doctors analyze their range of motion."
Kinect software can detect if a child can only stretch his or her shoulder only a few inches during a game, and indicate a potential problem area.
Presently, the system can target and track 24 musculoskeletal points in the body, the Mashable report said.
Rebstock said the program can change the way medical professionals address pain medicine.
She said this could make treatment much more affordable, compared to therapy sessions in a gym. — TJD, GMA News
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