Our inspiration came from our grandfather. He had a stroke a little over a month ago and he was given exercises to do by the hospital occupational therapist. However, he isn’t a very good patient at the best of times and didn’t do the exercises when he got home.
We believe that you can use off-the-shelf hardware like the Kinect; paired with games people are interested in playing, and develop a therapeutic system patients will be motivated to comply with.
We’re not the only people who think that; organisations like Microsoft Research are looking at using the Kinect to help stroke patients improve their upper locomotive function. What makes our idea different is the ability to customise the games and exercises used in therapy to reflect the individual patient’s needs and interests.
In a 2013 study in ‘Computers in Human Behavior’, researchers surveyed elderly adults with an average age of 77 and discovered that almost a third of the seniors played computer games at least once a week and over 17 percent played every day. The games they played were solitaire, free cell and puzzle games like crosswords and Sudoku. We believe that by using games seniors are already familiar with and play regularly you are far more likely to increase compliance.
For clinicians, our solution means they will have an affordable tool that they can tailor for each patient both in terms of program and interest. They will be also able to monitor progress and adjust the difficulty level as the patient improves.
We believe our solution will improve the therapy experience for both patient and clinician.