Local hospitals use Wii-hab to bring patients back to health

Video games aren’t just for the kids anymore.

Crittenton, Beaumont Hospitals and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland have all installed Wii gaming sets on their hospital campuses. But the revolutionary system isn’t used just for fun, though patient satisfaction has gone through the roof.

“Wii-hab” is being used in rehab for patients with strokes, loss of motor coordination and other conditions. The Wii system wirelessly detects movement in three dimensions through controllers that read accelerometers and infrared detection.

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John Chatman is a patient at St. Joseph’s who had a stroke. The 56-year-old retired General Motors Corp. electrical engineer is no stranger to electronics and its capabilities, but he was surprised how much the Wii was able to do.

“I just didn’t think it was going to do much of anything, but I was impressed with the proficiency of the device,” Chatman said. “By using this, you have more hand-eye coordination.”

Find out which Wii games are most popular with patients here.