EMG Biofeedback Videogame System for the Gait Rehabilitation of Hemiparetic Individuals
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We report a novel approach to electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback for post-stroke hemiparetic gait rehabilitation, using a videogame. An integrated hardware/software system facilitates gameplay of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 in driving range mode by performing rehabilitation exercises. Real-time visual EMG biofeedback is provided as the patient performs exercises. Custom-built bioamplifiers and software collect, amplify, and filter the surface EMG signals from six lower-limb muscles, and score them by feature extraction. The ball is driven a distance proportional to each score. Exercises are scored by comparing the patient's EMG activation with target profiles. The user-friendly system is controlled by prompts on a personal computer. We envision two major benefits from this system. First, the biofeedback is offered in real-time, in a clear, intuitive form, and coupled with task-specific motions. Second, we hypothesize that adopting rehabilitation exercises to control a fun videogame will lead to greater adherence to the exercise regime, with accompanying improvements in gait.