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