German company RetroBrain R&D has developed a digital therapy programme for elderly people that uses video games.
memoreBox is a gesture-controlled game console developed specifically for seniors living in care facilities. It has activities like singing, bowling, table tennis and dancing designed to improve users' physical and cognitive performance.
In December 2020 an evaluation showed that users of the games console developed a significantly improved ability to care for themselves and perform general activities. Thanks to regular group activities facilitates by the console, they were also more motivated to interact with others.
There is evidence to show that elderly people who play video games either occasionally or regularly develop greater well-being, social functioning, and health compared to people who don't play video games.
The purpose of memoreBox is to prevent and slow down neurodegenerative diseases, which can include Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It is operated by movements and gestures rather than by a controller, so that people with physical limitations can still use it.
The console is certified as a medical device class I. Through a partnership with AOK Baden-Württemberg, the main statutory health insurer in southwest Germany, it is set to be introduced into 50 inpatient care facilities across the state by the end of 2021.
Jutta Ommer-Hohl, Head of Staff in the Customer and Health Division at AOK Baden-Württemberg said: "After the positive evaluation of the memoreBox in in-patient care facilities, we would like to give care facilities in Baden-Württemberg the opportunity to use sustainable preventive approaches with digital tools. We consider RetroBrain’s video games to be a target-oriented and special tool for strengthening cognitive and physical performance and therefore support their use."
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