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How the Kinect Helps Heal Wounded Veterans

The popular video game platform is being used by Armed Forces health care professionals to help veterans complete their physical therapy routines from the relative comfort of their homes.

What’s the Latest Development?

Armed Forces health care professionals are eager to use the video game platform to improve physical therapy routines for soldiers wounded in combat. By combining the Kinect with certain software, veterans can rehabilitate themselves at home rather than in hospitals. “The Army and Air Force are hardly the only ones interested in the Kinect’s potential to aid in physical therapy, actually. The San Diego-based West Health Institute has been looking into the matter, as well.” Professionals hope that Kinect’s ability to engage a patient’s attention will decrease non-compliance rates, currently a substantial obstacle to effective physical therapy. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Health care professionals are also interested in Kinect to treat post-traumatic stress-disorder. Phil West, Microsoft’s director of public sector solutions, said: “[Patients] can use avatars, which allows anonymity, but also allows for representatives who are therapists or licensed psychiatrists to connect with them. Therapists can say, ‘I know who you are because I have your case file. No one else in the room has to see in your face.’ It gives a way to engage and talk through problems while preserving anonymity.”

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