As game designers, we wanted to explore to see if we can use our skills to create something that could benefit the health of people suffering from physical disabilities and disorders. We did some research on some of the most common forms of physical illness and disabilities, we decided to tackle Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which accounts for around 31.5% of all work related injuries as well having over 400,000 annual cases resulting in Carpal Tunnel Surgery (CTS) in the United States Alone. It is the second largest form of surgery performed as a result of work place related injury.
For this project we also had at our disposal Leap-Motion technology which allowed us to use our hands as tools for interacting with the software, together with Occulus Rift we decided it would be a great challenge to make an application that can offer patients (undergoing preventative and post-operative CTS physiotherapy) an interactive experience on the road to recovery and better health.
What it does
Flexor is an interactive VR application that utilizes Leap-Motion to capture movement of both hands of the patient in order to facilitate stretching and yoga based exercises for the prevention and the practice physiotherapy for patients suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Flexor aims to make this experience more interactive and enjoyable for patients and users by allowing them to experience small and interactive games while stretching and working out.
How we built it
We used Leap-Motion and Oculus Rift as our primary form of hardware interaction in conjunction with Unity Engine to implement and build our project.
Challenges we ran into
The detection limit for Leap-motion is sometimes limited by range of motions of the users arms, thus we have to look extensively at all the possible stretches and actions that was available for each pose. Then utilizing that pose as a form of interaction for our intended interactive experience.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to combine two types of technology as well as our love and passion for designing games into a single project. We are happy with the results we've achieved and hope that we can explore further design project that involves gamification and healthcare.
What we learned
It is very difficult to combine an interactive experience and preventative physiotherapy as these fields are very different from their cores. We also learned that with the capability and advancement of technology, it is imperative to utilize technology to benefit the health and quality of life for people who are suffering from illness and injury in society.
We would explore the possibility of using this software in a physiotherapy clinic as well as having the ability to remotely connect to physiotherapist through VR in order to deliver a more precise and guided experience for users. This would also eliminate long waiting periods and travel restraints for patients with decrease mobility due to their illness.