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Xbox for Stroke Rehabilitation 147

An anonymous reader writes "Using an Xbox modified to run Linux, researchers have developed virtual reality hand exercises for rehabilitating stroke patients. An inexpensive glove controller is used to interact with the Xbox. The hardware cost is a tenth of a comparable commercial hand rehabilitation system, leading to the possibility of deployment in patients' homes."
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Xbox for Stroke Rehabilitation

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  • Why an Xbox? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by atomicstrawberry ( 955148 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @02:40AM (#16057717)
    I don't see what the big deal in using an Xbox for this is. Wouldn't it be easier to just use an old PC with Linux on it?
  • Re:Why an Xbox? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RuBLed ( 995686 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @02:53AM (#16057746)
    Some speculationis to your question.


    1. It is readily available and quite cheap
    2. They are all the same specs, so what you develop for 1 xbox would have "almost" the same performance as with all xbox
    3. It could be readily plugged into the television set and be unplugged as easily.
    4. More glove sales :) (hmmm.. I could already think of some uses for those gloves that this)
  • Simple Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Propaganda13 ( 312548 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @03:24AM (#16057813)
    Microsoft lawyer says you're breaking the DMCA and this is how we're going to handle it
    1. A small team of software developers will sit down with you and write some rehab software for the XBox 360.
    2. Microsoft will donate the software and equivalent number of 360's to hospitals and clinics.
    3. We have a big press conference and you tell how Microsoft is helping stroke victims.


    We take you to court and do the same thing without you.
  • Inhibiting research (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cryptoluddite ( 658517 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @03:27AM (#16057816)
    This is exactly why DRM lockdown is such a bad thing for 'promoting the sciences and useful arts'. For xbox 360 these people would have to buy a sdk and pay licensing fees out the wazoo. It would never happen.

    The irony of "free markets" is that the less regulation the worse they perform. Monopolies are crackable DRM.
  • by benplaut ( 993145 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @04:03AM (#16057896)
    between strokes and epilectic seizures? If so, this is a very bad idea... regardless, there's nothing special about this... an xbox is just a computer, after all...
  • by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @04:28AM (#16057935) Homepage Journal
    People who have had a stroke have a greater tendancy to have a seizure. It's something like 5% within the first 24 hours (they wouldn't be getting therapy at this point anyway) and 2-3% within the first year. There are plenty of medications that prevent seizures, though, and many stroke patients take a form of these. You also have doctor supervision (remotely in some instances).

    Additionally, the patient wouldn't be looking at their screen for long periods of time. Therapy sessions are generally limited to short periods of time... there's no use in long periods of therapy. My wife, who is an occupational therapist, suggested that someone with many hours a day of possible rehab time might only spend an hour or two doing actual rehab, and that time should be broken up into 15-20 minute segments.

    Finally, there is something special about this. An Xbox is much more standardized than most computers. The interface for the hardware will be exactly the same on every Xbox, making it easy for therapists and patients to use. Plus it doesn't have to be updated with security patches, virus scanners, etc, so it's more stable than a common desktop computer. It's also cheaper than most computers, coming in around $100-$125 these days.

    Some of the equipment my wife uses costs tens of thousands of dollars and wouldn't be as effective as this. I showed her this article and she's excited enough to show all of her therapist friends at the hospital.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07, 2006 @05:08AM (#16058004)
    Maybe you would like to comment on the fact that the effect of very much regulation is to _create_ monopolies?

    Such as;

    - extremely high food quality regulation = monopoly for the only company that have the technology/systems to satisfy them and prove it
    - awarding a contract for building a road having as a requirement that the company has a comprehensive social awareness policy and dedicated immigrant integration trained HR officers = monopoly/oligopoly for the few/single larger companies with the resources to invest in this at the side of building roads
    - state running of utility (electricity, gas) regulation = monopoly for the state
    - prohibition of private schools or private hospitals regulation = monopoly for the state
    - extremely high clinical testing regulation = oligopoly for companies that can meet those, e.g. making drug creation literally impossible for any starting company.

    Am I mistaken in thinking you only have a problem with monopolies if they are in private hands?

    I disagree that 'the less regulation the worse they perform', since that would imply that with regulation up the wazoo they would perform spectacularly - and if you truly believe that, I would call you delusional. I can agree that a point in between _full regulation_ and _no regulation_ is optimal, but that takes a bit more discussion than a one-directional knob.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @05:29AM (#16058057) Homepage
    A friend of mine who had a stroke has found that they have recovered a certain amount of mobility in their "bad" side by playing Eyetoy games on the PS2. I don't know how much and how quickly, but it's probably worth studying more closely.
  • But wait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webheaded ( 997188 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @05:36AM (#16058076) Homepage
    Isn't the soft mod exploit legal to install Linux with? What happens you ask? 1. Download gamesave for Mech Assault or another game that has been exploited 2. Open the save in the game of choice 3. Launch Linux Installer While thats obviously a simple run down of what you do, is that actually in violation of anything? You aren't modifying the hardware to run insigned code and crap, you are simply making the game overflow, crash, and then run a BIOS loader which loads a Linux installer. Am I missing something here?
  • Re:But wait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @08:37AM (#16058461)
    That like asking 'Isn't it legal to break the law when there's nobody and nothing around to get hurt?' No, it's still not legal. There is no 'I didn't do it to break the law' clause in the DMCA. Circumventing the protection, for any reason, by any method, is against the law now in the US.

    The real shame here is that MS doesn't EVER license their devkits to anyone unless they are a serious game developer and can front a huge amount of cash. For that matter, Sony and Nintendo don't, either.

    I'm sure they are afraid some 'pirate' is going to use the official devkit to figure out how to fake the encryption and all that. But they usually figure all that mess out anyhow, or find an even better way to circumvent the protection, so there really isn't much point.
  • by vrtladept ( 674792 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @09:26AM (#16058683) Journal
    Funny that your DRM example actually proves the opposite. If we didn't have DMCA regulation, copyright, patent, and other "IP" laws then your scenario wouldn't matter, we would just crack the DRM and move on, thus removing the artificial monopoly built by technology.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Scoth ( 879800 ) on Thursday September 07, 2006 @09:36AM (#16058736)
    My dad had a stroke two years ago. It was relatively minor as strokes went, but he still had a lot of coordination problems. His left side was far worse than his right. His recovery process was slow until they let him go home and he got back into trying to racing simulations he loved to play (Grand Prix Legends mostly. Awesome game but a heck of a learning curve). All of a sudden he did hugely better and pretty quickly was driving himself for real again. I mentioned it to the physical therapists but they didn't quite seem to understand. It's a shame, I bet there's plenty of untapped potential there. Whether it's actual video games or just something similar like this Xbox setup.

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