By Adrienne Moore

DAVIS (CBS13) — It’s digital medicine that’s helping stroke survivors make real progress.

A Davis company is making games that turn grueling physical therapy into something people can enjoy, all thanks to virtual reality.

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The goal for stroke survivors who strap on virtual reality goggles is to get better, not get a high score.

Tina Orkin was one of the first to play the games after she had a stroke in 2016. The games helped her recover her strength.

“I started out totally paralyzed on the left side,” Orkin said. “The one I like the best is with a paddle.”

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Stroke survivors use the paddle to hit a ball and blow up boxes. Orkin says the virtual reality was strange at first.

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“It was weird because I had never done it. I didn’t know much about it,” Orkin said.

Patients who keep playing get stronger one game at a time and their doctors learn from the process.

Three years ago, Orkin was in a wheelchair. Now she can walk and play with her grandkids.

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The founder of Cognivive says success stories like Orkin’s make all the hard work worthwhile.

“You get to do really cool science, play with fun technology, and you’re making a positive impact on peoples’ lives on a day to day basis…you can’t ask for much more than that,” co-founder and CEO Tony Simon said.

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The software developers are improving the games every week and hope stroke survivors all over the country, and around the world, will get to play them.

Adrienne Moore