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Drexel Using Video Games To Help Those With Motor Disabilities

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)—Inside Drexel University's Replay Lab they're developing video games to help the those with motor disabilities.

Drexel professors Dr. Paul Diefenbach and Maggie O'Neil teamed up for the challenge through enAble Games, a Drexel spinoff project.

"Maggie O'Neil over from the College of Nursing and Health came to me a few years ago, inquiring about the use of active video games, or video games controlled by your body for physical therapy," said Diefenbach. "Currently commercial games weren't meeting her needs."

"I said can you make this commercial due this and this and this, so it will be more sensitive, flexible and specific to my need and therapy goals for the child," said O'Neil.

They've succeeded.

Individuals with cerebral palsy and other debilitating movement disorders can utilize these games helping them progress.

In addition, Drexel's invention is helping doctors and nurses gather information that was previously impossible to obtain in real-time.

Physical Therapist Carol Wamsley is a consultant working with Drexel, she says she's never seen anything like enAble Games.

"This is absolutely unique, it's fabulous what they've been able to design," said Wamsley. "So if someone has problems with their trunk, [like] Parkinson's---and they're stuck forward and it's affecting their balance they can learn to be upright. We want them to be able to engage in all areas: from your bedside, to the clinic, to the home." is offering a life changing program that promises to be game changing in the health care community.

"So when you have a kid who can sit playing the game for 20 minutes at a time, when they normally can't do that, that's really what hits home with this," Diefenbach.

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