Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Computer game tool for physical therapy

Technology #6828

This technology helps patient’s complete physical therapy in fun and engaging ways in the comfort of their own home. A major problem in physical therapy is patient compliance with repetitive tasks. But it’s been shown that videogames can be used to increase compliance and enhance recovery. This technology harnesses these advantages of videogames to create a fun tool to help recovery of patients with brachial plexus palsy and other injuries which require physical therapy.

Marriage of gaming and medicine

This technology uses Microsoft Kinect to capture patient movement for use in a videogame. The game was developed specifically to help patients perform physical therapy maneuvers to aid in their recovery. The tool has been tested on a relevant patient population, and has been shown to increase compliance to physical therapy and not cause any harm to patients. The tool is similar to some marketed products, such as Jintronix and [VirtualRehab] (http://virtualwaregroup.com/en/products/virtualrehab), but it is specifically targeted to patients with brachial plexus palsy, a disease which affects [1-2 in every 1000 children.] (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00077)

Applications

  • At-home therapy
  • Recorded Results
  • Can be used for other physical therapy of limbs and joints

Advantages

  • Save on transport and physical therapy appointment costs
  • Increased compliance due to gamification of therapy