Thanks to a new device called ReJoyce, stroke and spinal-cord injury patients can now improve their motion and increase their strength from the comfort of their own home. Designed by Arthur Prochazka from the University of Alberta, ReJoyce is a video game console that features games designed specifically to help patients regain movement. Quadriplegic patients can also play the game by using a wristband that sends electronic pulses to their hands in response to the patient clicking their teeth.
ReJoyce is a huge leap forward from old electrode therapy techniques. In the past, patients who could improve from therapy often didn’t complete the repetitions necessary to achieve results. This was in part due to sheer boredom, as the tasks they were asked to complete were as mundane as moving around wooden blocks. But with ReJoyce, therapy is engaging and even fun. Rejoyce is a breakthrough in stroke and spinal cord injury therapy because it provides patients with treatments typically only available in clinics. The game also keeps track of the patient’s progress for the therapist, who can work with patients by videoconference and customize each game to an individual patient’s needs.
Testing is now complete and the device is being licensed to be sold worldwide. Hopefully, this technology represents a new trend towards more entertaining and effective electrode therapies.