Welcome to Health Care POV | sign in | join
PTA Blog Talk


Published January 20, 2009 8:35 PM by Jason Marketti
The title says it all.  I finally saved up for a Wii and several games and an extra controller.  Now I understand why it is used in therapy.  I don't think Billy Mays could have sold it any better.

On bowling nights we have a fun competition to see how many strikes we can get in a row.  My youngest has gotten six, while my wife and I are up to four and five.  I also bought Fire Emblem for me and my son. (It's a guy thing).

I have not explored everything the Wii is capable of, like Internet and pictures, etc.  I just like to get in there and play.  And I am not sure whether to call the controller a joy stick.  Every time I do, I picture myself sitting on the living room floor in the 1980s playing Dig Dug and Pac Man on our Atari system. 

Then I wonder why I didn't buy one of these things when they first came out.  I could have been having all this fun, jumping around, swinging my arms and competing to see how many look-a-likes there are as they go down the escalator.

One day I bowled too much and my right shoulder was really sore.  So rather than quit, I used my left hand to play; I am an addict.  I think it has to do with keeping your pro status once you achieve it in the game. 

Then I got to thinking about how effective this game really is to those who need the UE mobility, hand eye coordination, and memory.  Fine motor control is tested every time it is used.  I am sold on this game for rehab use.  Now, how do we convince the employer that we need one and it is purely therapeutic in nature and not intended for the therapists enjoyment at lunch. 

It is kind of like riding a motorized wheelchair in a facility - I am trying to assess the integrity and safety of the vehicle and to adjust the speed for proper usage.  Certainly I wouldn't be having any fun riding it all around the facility trying to do dounuts.


Come check out our new workshop- "Emerging Technology for Rehabilitation:  Virtual Reality Games, Robots, and More!"  We are hosting it at St. Jude's Hospital in La Brea California on Feb 28th/March 1st 2009.  We would love to teach this course all over the country!  The purpose of this basic course is to discuss and demonstrate the technical feasibility of using a) Virtual Reality gaming technology and b) robotics in the physical rehabilitation arena.

Virtual Reality (VR) can be described as a computer-based environment in which the user feels as though they are a part of the scene.  The use of VR technology in rehabilitation has received a tremendous amount of attention in the recent years. In the past, VR games required fine motor control and hand dexterity, but with development of new interface technology, such as that used with the Wiimote, VR gaming technology is now being explored to train larger body movements.  The advantages of using VR based gaming technology in rehabilitation is that it can distract, motivate and entertain. Furthermore, attention, novelty and reward are essential to drive neuroplasticity (based on Merzenich’s Model of drivers for neuroplasticity)- all elements of well developed games. In this course we will discuss and have an opportunity to trial the Sony PlayStation®2 EyeToyTM Novint Falcon, and Nintendo® WiiTM among others.

A robot is a device that is made to perform a task and typically requires some form of human interaction. Applications for robotics are enormous, however rehabilitaiton robbotics is relatively new.  Robots are now being developed to aid in recovery from cardiac surgery, musculoskeletal injury and neurological trauma.  In this course we will discuss and have an opportunity to try the upper extremity robot developed by Motorika®.

If anyone is interested, please contact me at


Kind Regards,

Sheryl Flynn PT, PhD

Sheryl January 22, 2009 12:58 AM

leave a comment

To prevent comment spam, please type the code you see below into the code field before submitting your comment. If you cannot read the numbers in the image, reload the page to generate a new one.

Enter the security code below:


About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
  • About Blog and Author

Keep Me Updated

Recent Posts