Wii stimulates, rehabilitates the brain

Wii brain exerciseIf you were to have told me in November that Wii Sports boxing would be helping a stroke victim get back into the real ring I would have laughed out loud. I think a lot of people would have done the same. Wii Sports was a watershed moment for the gaming industry at the time, but it was by no means a panacea for anything but gaming. Or was it?

Today we learn that the doctors at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital is first in North America to use the Wii technology to treat patients with movement and balance issues.

It’s moments like these when you see that a system is truly disruptive. For all the hate I spew at the PS3, the Folding@Home initiative is a similar example of this phenomenon in action.

Dr. Grigore Burdea, a world leader in computer-based virtual reality techniques in rehabilitation therapies, said in five years, he believes every hospital and rehab clinic will have embraced the gaming technology for their patients.

“It’s very ingenious,” Burdea said, in Edmonton to speak at conference on virtual rehabilitation. “This is pioneering work.”

The more people who get involved with a system the better, regardless of age, walk of life, or whatever. More eyes on the system mean more ideas and more avenues to explore. In the end, that means more fun and better experiences for all of us.