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Video games being used to treat patients

BOSTON, June 15 (UPI) -- Video games can be used to treat patients facing rehabilitation or dealing with various disabilities, researchers said at a Boston conference.

The Boston Globe said Monday that researchers discussed the new medical industry trend during the annual Games for Health conference in Boston last week.

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"Healthcare is an enormous industry, and it's looking for big ideas," Steve Downs, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation assistant vice president, said. "Video games can be personalized, they are adaptive, and they are fun."

Video game systems such as the Nintendo Wii are currently being used by sites like Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

The Globe said the games are being used to help patients rehabilitate from brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injury and muscular-skeletal disorders.

Presbyterian researcher Sam Yohannan said at the recent conference the games help improve patients both physically and mentally.

"It provides them with an escape," Yohannan said.

"The support and socialization really help in their overall recovery," he added.

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