Validating Creativity: Use of the HTC Vive in Post-Stroke Upper Limb Rehabilitation
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Physical therapists often creatively use virtual reality (VR) gaming systems in rehabilitation for patients with neurological deficits. However, therapists need to be aware of what games are applicable to their patient population, as well as how the virtual environment affects patients’ perception of their motion. This study investigated how the game Google Tilt Brush, a 3D painting environment offered on the HTC Vive, could be applied in post-stroke upper limb rehabilitation, and explored limitations of the system through measuring reach distance of healthy subjects. Nine healthy subjects were recruited and asked to perform various reaching and drawing tasks while data on their movement was gathered using a Vicon motion capture system. The data showed that while in simple reaching tasks individual subjects may alter their reach distance by up to 3 cm in the virtual environment, across all subjects there is not a statistically significant change. Moreover, in more complicated drawing tasks, participants could reliably reach to particular points, but most participants missed the exact target by several centimeters. Overall, it seems that the HTC Vive and Google Tilt Brush can be utilized in post-stroke upper limb rehabilitation if therapists monitor patients to ensure they are accomplishing the desired movement.