Michael Kennedy

WeHab: Biofeedback-Enhanced Balance Rehabilitation

Balance retraining is a critical part of rehabilitation for many individuals following neuro-trauma such as stroke. The WeHab system is a low-cost rehabilitation instrument suite centered around the Nintendo Wii Balance Board that has the potential to enhance rehabilitation for patients with balance disorders.

The WeHab system was designed over the course of several months with direct feedback from rehabilitation (both occupational and physical) therapists and patients at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, IN. As therapists incorporated the evolving WeHab system into their regular rehabilitation activities with neurotrauma patients, they identified desirable new features and activities. Through direct observation of its use and therapist feedback, the system was refined to specifically target the activities most commonly used by the therapists in their everyday sessions.

Using the WeHab system, therapists can lead patients through normal rehabilitation exercises with the added benefit of visual biofeedback based on center of pressure location. Patient improvement can be tracked by the WeHab system through objective analysis of trends both within a single session and from one session to the next.

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National Science Foundation