Stickmen Studios has been involved with development of a computer game system which helps stroke victims in regaining their mobility.
Im-Able Ltd has invented an exercise system named ‘Able-X’, a wireless air mouse on a handle that encourages three-dimensional arm movements via a range of computer games.
The Able-X device and games makes people move in certain ways, builds strength and helps recover neurological networks.
Able-X was developed by a Christchurch Industrial Research Ltd. team led by Marcus King in collaboration with Stickmen Studios and Pukka Design Studio, along with investment funding from Technology N.Z.
“The project was innovative and fun, and the fact that we were part of creating a product that truly helps people gives a real “feel good” factor to the project.”
“If you have a stroke, or any other neurological problem, you’re killing, damaging or blocking some of the brain networks,” says Im-Able director Geoff Todd.
A stroke also causes muscle wastage as that part of the body doesn’t get used.
“Other networks exist in the brain that aren’t being used, and rehabilitation works to connect those new networks and get the affected parts of the body moving again.”
Usually rehabilitation requires one-on-one therapy with a trained specialist, and when a patient leaves hospital, this isn’t readily available.
Geoff says their aim is to develop rehabilitation systems that are affordable that enable people to recover and help themselves at home.
Based on clinical trial data carried out in Otago on 14 people who had had strokes in the past, every single patient improved.
One key to this is that during an hour’s ‘gaming’ some actions may be repeated up to 1000 times without the player noticing. This compares to the involvement of a therapist where patients might be lucky to have 100 repetitions.
“There’s nothing like this in the world,” Geoff says.
“In the end our motivation is to help people help themselves. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing someone use your product, and seeing them improve. You can see the observable difference, it’s fantastic.”
Content sourced from scoop.co.nz