How video game therapy could help stroke patients

A video game has been developed that could have aid stroke patients' arm rehabilitation and recovery Credit: Newcastle University

A video game system which could help transform treatment for stroke patients has been unveiled today, which has been developed with support from the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Janet Eyre at the University of Newcastle has developed a system for therapists to monitor patients’ arm rehabilitation and recovery after stroke using video games that can be played at home.

The patient’s movements are measured as part of the game and information on how well they are performing can be relayed to a therapist in the clinic via the internet.

The aim is to enable therapists to continually track their patients’ recovery and adjust therapy programmes accordingly.

Catherine Armstrong had a stroke two years ago, and was left unable to move her left arm. She also had to learn to walk again.

She spoke to ITV Tyne Tees about her experience and also gave her view of the video game therapy after trying it out.

Following collection and validation of the required data from patients playing the games, the team anticipate that the full package will be available to therapists within two years.

The project has been supported by Health Innovation Challenge Fund, which was set up in 2009 to stimulate the delivery of products and interventions with potential clinical application in the NHS within a five-year time frame.