After Barbara Pivarnak had a bone marrow transplant last year, she faced a long recovery. For many weeks, she was – in her words – “a blob in a bed.”
As soon as she could sit up, though, occupational therapists at the Mayo Clinic began taking her to what they called “Wii-hab.”
She became absorbed in Wii bowling. What she didn’t realize was that she was also getting good physical workouts. Her strength and coordination rapidly improved.
Daily headlines can make us forget that technology is often used for “good.” Among all the reports of hackers stealing sensitive information from government agencies – and individuals – I like to point out the other side of the story.
Well beyond paying our bills online or playing Words With Friends with that girl you barely remember from high school, there’s a seriously positive side to technology. It improves the health of thousands of people everyday.
Sure, the games are fun. When Nintendo launched the Wii in 2006, it was a runaway hit for kids and families. The unique wireless controller, dubbed the Wii-mote by fans, allowed players to use body movements to bowl, box and play tennis.
It didn’t take long for elder care professionals to see that the Wii would be a great way to get aging patients up and moving. Soon after that, therapists were using the console to help stroke patients and accident victims get back on their feet again.