Video games, popular among kids in 1990s, have made a comeback with the advent of Virtual Reality (VR) which gives users a sense of touch when augmented with add-on instruments. A group of Indian engineers and neuroscientists has put these advances to use in field which is not entertainment- recovery of stroke patients.
The technique developed by a group of researchers at IIT Gandhinagar, is a computer-based exercise platform augmented with a feeling of touch. It is a performance-sensitive platform that can intelligently adapt itself as per the performance of patients.
The software of the platform consists of 48 templates of VR-based ‘reaching’ and ‘coordination’ tasks that trigger abduction and adduction movements of the shoulder joints as prescribed in physiotherapy guidelines. These tasks in the video game have three difficulty levels to suit the severity of the stroke. The hardware interface consists of a haptic stylus that provides tactile feedback to users. In addition, the platform has modules for task switching and physiological data acquisition.