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Video transcript: News report on video game technology that is transforming shoulder rehabilitation


News reporter: We are all familiar with the concept of a video game but this is a physio game and a world first to help people recover from surgery. Pilates teacher Rachael had struggled following an operation on her shoulder around three months ago after, ironically, injuring it in the gym. The idea behind this new technology is to encourage people to do physio exercises without realising it.

Rachel (patient undergoing rehab using the video games): I’m steering a submarine. It’s about not been blown up by the mines. I’m having to use all the muscles here to try and get them working again. I have found it quite difficult to do some of the movements.

News reporter: You’re clearly really into this.

Rachel: I am, yes, I am very competitive.

News reporter: And that’s the key to it’s success.

Physio: I was a little skeptical to begin with but if you’ve got demonstrable progress to the patient if they come in and they’re, like, ‘ah I didn’t do quite as well this week’ or ‘I really want to beat my score and couldn’t quite manage it’ then they’re always competitive against themselves.

News reporter: So this is how works. The system calibrates to the patient’s body and then whilst they’re playing the games it will capture that range of movements and the hope is that they will improve over time. A trial has been underway in Manchester for the past three years after doctors at Trafford General with the software company to develop these specialist exercises; the aim is to get people better quicker.

Mr Bibhas Roy, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, said: You know when people don’t do their physiotherapy. It’s boring, you get a piece of paper to do this ten times, who wants to do that, nobody? Here you are playing a game, here you are jumping a frog or flying a plane, and somehow we seem to like that.

News reporter: At the moment the software is only suitable for people with shoulder injuries but doctors hope to expand the program to other parts of the body and it’s now available to hospitals across the country.

Rachel: I think it’s absolutely brilliant. The range of movement now is much better.

News reporter: Rachel has now completed the trial and has improved in just a matter of weeks, but she has still got her top score to beat so we might be here for a while.