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Enhanced feedback in balance rehabilitation using the Nintendo Wii Balance Board

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6 Author(s)
Kennedy, M.W. ; Dept. of Aerosp. & Mech. Eng., Univ. of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA ; Schmiedeler, J.P. ; Crowell, C.R. ; Villano, M.
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Balance retraining is a critical part of rehabilitation for many individuals following neuro-trauma such as stroke. The WeHab system described in this paper is a low-cost rehabilitation instrument suite centered around the Nintendo Wii Balance Board that has the potential to enhance rehabilitation for patients with balance disorders. Using the WeHab system, therapists can lead patients through normal rehabilitation exercises with the added benefit of visual biofeedback based on center of pressure location. Patient improvement can be tracked by the WeHab system through objective analysis of trends both within a single session and from one session to the next. Pilot data from several patients receiving inpatient therapy using the WeHab system at the Wound Care center at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, IN, indicate the potential benefit that the system could bring to balance rehabilitation. Specifically, the details of and results from sit-to-stand, weight-shifting, and stepping activities are presented for pilot subjects. Further expansion of the WeHab system is planned, including incorporation of auditory feedback. Future work also includes more structured studies of the effects of the WeHab system on balance recovery.

Published in:

e-Health Networking Applications and Services (Healthcom), 2011 13th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

13-15 June 2011