Traumatic brain injury is a significant health issue which affects service members and veterans during times of both peace and war. The high rate of TBI and blast-related concussion events resulting from current combat operations directly impacts the health and safety of individual service members and subsequently the level of unit readiness and troop retention. The impacts of TBI are felt within each branch of the service.
Recently they added the tWall, which has a host of different benefits for soldiers returning home. The tWALL is an interactive wall that helps improve users’ reaction speed, coordination, motor skills, endurance and decision-making.
Exergames, also known as “exercise games” or “active video games,” are video games that require physical activity and movement from the players. The tWall can be a valuable tool in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) centers as part of rehabilitation and therapy programs. Here’s how exergames and the tWall could be used in such centers:
- Physical Rehabilitation and Motor Skills Training: Exergames can be used to engage patients in various physical activities that help improve motor skills, coordination, and balance. These games can provide a controlled and engaging environment to work on specific movements and exercises, which is crucial for individuals recovering from TBI.
- Cognitive Rehabilitation: Many exergames incorporate cognitive challenges such as problem-solving, memory tasks, and decision-making. These cognitive components can aid in cognitive rehabilitation for TBI patients who are working on restoring cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and executive function.
- Gait Training: TBI patients often face challenges with walking and maintaining proper gait. Exergames that simulate walking or require controlled leg movements can assist in gait training, helping patients regain their ability to walk confidently and safely.
- Visual-Motor Integration: Exergames often require players to coordinate their physical movements with visual cues on the screen. For TBI patients who need to work on improving their visual-motor integration, these games can provide a structured way to enhance this aspect of their recovery.
- Social Interaction: Exergames can be played in a group setting, encouraging social interaction and cooperation among patients. This can contribute to the overall well-being and mental health of TBI patients, as they can engage in fun and competitive activities with their peers.
- Motivation and Engagement: Traditional rehabilitation exercises can sometimes be monotonous and demotivating. Exergames, on the other hand, are designed to be engaging and enjoyable, potentially increasing patient motivation to participate in therapy and rehabilitation sessions consistently.
- Progress Tracking: Many exergames come with built-in progress tracking and performance metrics. This data can be valuable for healthcare professionals to monitor a patient’s progress over time, adjust the therapy regimen accordingly, and celebrate achievements.
- Home-Based Rehabilitation: Some exergames are designed for home use. This can be especially beneficial for TBI patients who are transitioning from intensive center-based rehabilitation to more independent recovery at home. Home-based exergame programs can help maintain continuity in rehabilitation efforts.
- Customized Therapy Plans: Exergames often allow for customization of difficulty levels and types of activities. This flexibility enables healthcare professionals to tailor the therapy plans to the specific needs and abilities of each TBI patient.
- Long-Term Engagement: Recovery from a traumatic brain injury can be a long-term process. Exergames can provide a sustainable way for patients to continue engaging in physical and cognitive activities even after their formal rehabilitation programs have ended.
It’s important to note that while exergames offer potential benefits, they should be integrated into a comprehensive rehabilitation plan supervised by qualified healthcare professionals. The appropriateness of exergames for a particular patient should be determined based on their individual needs and the severity of their TBI.
Contact Exergame to learn more!