Health IT

Rx-only iPad games designed to boost visual skills in stroke patients

A developmental optometrist, a neuropsychologist and programmer have developed a collection of iPad games to improve visual motor skills in patients recovering from stroke and head trauma as well as children with autism and attention deficit disorder. The Oculomotor Therapy Program was created by developmental optometrist Dr. Jeffrey Becker and neuropsychologist Dr. Robert Bohlander of […]

A developmental optometrist, a neuropsychologist and programmer have developed a collection of iPad games to improve visual motor skills in patients recovering from stroke and head trauma as well as children with autism and attention deficit disorder.

The Oculomotor Therapy Program was created by developmental optometrist Dr. Jeffrey Becker and neuropsychologist Dr. Robert Bohlander of the NeuroSensory Center of Eastern Pennsylvania in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Charles Teufert of Shadowspawn Photography was the software programmer on the project.

The games test the user’s ability to focus on an image, track and pursue it, and memorize aspects of it. Watch the game in action here, but turn your speakers down first.

The program has 16 games with eight levels in each one. The games include Planet Defense, Asteroid Tracker, Picture Reveal (shown above), Robot Scanner, and Finding RDS. The games are designed to improve gross and fine-motor control, visual-motor processing, visual attention, and visual fixation to help with skills related to reading, writing, attention and sensory integration.

Patients must be evaluated by a physician or therapist before they are prescribed the games, Becker said in a phone interview. The prescribing physician or therapist would set the game’s difficulty level according to the ability of the patient.

Each time a patient uses the program, the physician or therapist can track his or her progress online and immediately adjust the game activities to match patient goals. Doctors can monitor patients’ cognitive levels from anywhere in world, Becker said.

The company is making the program available through leasing-licensing agreements of about $199.

Gamification is a growing area of interest in healthcare and covers a wide territory from helping people manage their diets and blood sugar levels and take their medications to combating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. But some caution that it should not be seen as a panacea.

Topics