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Re-spawn: Optimizing Therapeutic Potential Through the Healing Power of Video Games

Erik Johnson, MS, OT

June 1, 2017

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Question

Due to sensory over stimulation do you suggest any timeline on video gaming for someone one with concussive symptoms or headaches? Are they starting to use this type of technology more in skilled nursing facilities? In reference to the Freeze Framer, are you attached to electrodes? Does the software come with heart rate monitor?

Answer

I absolutely do think that there should be time limits. I think that there should be very specific time lines. However, I do not know the time parameters. There should be limitations. I typically engage my clients with this type of treatment in 30 minute increments.

Absolutely! I think it is going to be more and more prevalent because of the emergence of technology. I am going to be 40 this year. If you fast forward 30, or 40 years, I will want to play video games when I am 80. It is a good therapeutic medium. Recently there has been some buzz around mobile gaming like Pokemon Go. There have been a lot of cool initiatives with therapists taking their patients out to find these little pocket monsters all over the place. I think that is a really neat avenue. If you look forward 30 years from now, everybody is going to have played video games at one point. You could probably look at 95% of the smartphones out there, and most of them will have at least one game on there whether it is Scrabble or Candy Crush. The one thing that I will say though is I have tried to engage certain patients with this technology and sometimes they just do not have the ability get it from here to there in the right amount of time to operate it. It is not indicated for everybody. That is why I say try it out and see if it is a fit.

The software does come with a monitor and the leads that you need. They have a one that can go on your finger and your ear so you have different opportunities to be able to hook somebody up to it. This is nice because if I have something on my finger and I am playing video games, it can get in the way. I am not sure with their current system out now. They may have some other options as well. 


erik johnson

Erik Johnson, MS, OT

Erik Johnson previously served at the San Antonio Military Medical Center where he was the chief of OT in the Department of Defense Burn Center. He also previously served as Chief of Amputee Services at Walter Reed Hospital. He has worked with soldiers who have suffered devastating injuries during combat operations. He specializes in occupation based upper extremity orthopedics, complex polytrauma, and cognitive dysfunction.


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