Movement-Based Interaction applied to Physical Rehabilitation Therapies
About The Publication
Background: Healthcare environments are continuously improving their conditions, especially regarding the use of current technology. Considering the field of rehabilitation, the use of videogames and related technology has helped to develop new rehabilitations procedures. Patients are able to work on their disabilities through new processes which are more motivating and entertaining. However, these patients have a duty to leave their home environment in order to complete their rehabilitation program.
Objective: The authors have focused their research interests on finding a solution for patients to eliminate the need to leave their routines in order to attend rehabilitation therapy. In this way, a novel system has been developed which allows patients with a balance disorder to perform a specific rehabilitation exercise at home. Additionally, the system features an assistant tool to complement the work of physiotherapists. The medical staff is provided with a system which avoids the need for them to be present during the exercise in specific cases under adequate supervision.
Methods: Regarding videogames techniques, an essential element of the system we have developed is the interaction based on movement offered by Kinect. The system includes a framework that analyzes the patient’s movements to create indications and corrections during the rehabilitation exercise.
Results: Two professional therapists, who are specialists in balance disorder rehabilitation, have evaluated the system. They used the system freely during a period of time and provided interesting and optimistic opinions. They found the system to be an interesting and useful tool to be applied in rehabilitation therapies. In addition, they gave essential feedback based on their experience to improve the features of the system.
Conclusions: The system developed improves rehabilitation conditions of people with balance disorder. The main contribution comes from the fact that it allows patients to perform the rehabilitation process at home under the supervision of physiotherapists. As a result, patients avoid having to attend medical centers. Additionally, medical staff obtains an assistant that means their presence is not required in many cases where there is a need for constant repetition of the exercise.
Trial Registration: The research presented in this paper has not needed patient enrollment.