A patient using the game-like system to perform upper limb rehabilitation.
Local rehabilitation hospitals are using robotic devices and games to perform evaluations and help patients exercise, making rehabilitation not only more fun, but more effective.
Patients can follow orders to move their arms and hands to perform gestures like "slashing fruits" and "egg whipping" through a 3D system, which is similar to sports video game Wii, doctors said.
"Many stroke sufferers unable to move their upper limbs depend on passive massage and training from a therapist, but traditional training is usually boring and sometimes painful," Dr Wang Peiliang from Shanghai He'ersen Rehabilitation Hospital said. "With the introduction of such upper limb rehabilitation robots in clinical practice, patients can gain more enjoyment during training and become more compliant."
Despite technical developments, the public's poor awareness still impacts the prevalence of rehabilitation in China.
The incidence of stroke in China is rising by 8.7 percent annually, but about 40 percent of stroke sufferers fail to enter rehabilitation afterwards. The major reason is that patients and their families depend more on surgery and ignore the following steps that can aid in better recovery.
"The first several weeks are the golden period for recovery after suffering stroke," Wang said. "If conditions allow, patients can start their rehabilitation 48 hours after the outburst, or 10 to 14 days for patients with brain hemorrhage."
Dr Wang added that in terms of clinical rehabilitation, earlier is always better, and that patients shouldn't miss that "golden period."