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Hospitals install Wiihabilitation gear

Console gets new use
Mon Feb 11 2008, 09:17

HOSPITALS are installing Nintendo's Wii consoles as part of physical therapy programmes for patients.

According to Boston Channel, hospital officials claim that playing Wii sports makes traditional physical therapy much more fun.

James Osborn, of Southern Illinois Healthcare, said that playing games that require body movements similar to traditional exercises make patients less focused on the movement and more focused on winning.

Several other hospitals including the Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital west of Chicago and Walter Reed Army Medical Center have also installed Wiis.

So far the programme is not exactly scientific but Lars Oddsson, director of the Sister Kenny Research Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, wants to change all that.

He is working with the University of Minnesota to design a study to measure how effective the Wii is for rehab.

Oddsson said that while the hospitals could make a case that some form of endurance related to strength and flexibility and balance and cardio would be challenged there is little in the way of hard facts yet.

More here. µ


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