Kinect software assists physical therapists

The West Health Institute (La Jolla, CA, USA) has developed a software application for Microsoft's Kinect for Windows platform that can help physical therapists ensure that patients perform exercises correctly.

Kinect software assists physical therapists
Kinect software assists physical therapists

The West Health Institute (La Jolla, CA, USA) has developed a software application for Microsoft's Kinect for Windows platform that can help physical therapists ensure that patients perform exercises correctly.

Clinical research studies of the so-called Reflexion Rehabilitation Measurement Tool (RMT) are now underway at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA.

"Rehabilitation needs to happen continuously, not just when the therapist or doctor is watching, so we developed a tool to extend the expert guidance of physical therapists and make it more engaging and more effective for patients," said Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, co-inventor of the software and a visiting fellow with West Health Institute and clinical scholar with Scripps Translational Science Institute.

"We’re very excited that our first collaboration is with San Diego’s Naval Medical Center which has many wounded, ill and injured service members in need of musculoskeletal surgery and rehabilitation to see how we can further develop this technology to help veterans and the military patient community," he adds.

The current standard of care for rehabilitation involves patients receiving individual sessions from physical therapists, which are followed up with paper reminders that illustrate how the patient is supposed to perform the prescribed exercise.

Outside of the limited time with their therapist, patients' exercises often go un-tracked and un-measured. Compliance is a major issue, with patients often not doing their exercises correctly, or not doing them at all, which can negatively impact recovery time, health outcomes and overall costs.

"The biggest problem with physical therapy is patients not doing enough of it or not doing it properly. We are building a tool to help physical therapists measure progress in a fun way that could potentially help patients heal faster," says Spencer Hutchins, co-developer of the software.

Recent articles on the Microsoft Kinect from Vision Systems Design.

1. Kinect comes home

Three Swedish researchers from the Centre for Autonomous Systems (CAS) at the Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden are asking people to get involved in a crowd sourcing project to build a library of 3-D models of objects captured using their Microsoft Kinect cameras.

2. Kinect gets a grip on gait recognition

Researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (Munich, Germany) have built a system using Microsoft's Kinect sensor to identify individuals from their gait.

3. Microsoft Kinect system helps retailers measure store traffic

A team of developers at Kimetric (Buenos Aires City, Argentina) have created a system for retailers that can help them understand their customers' behavior within their stores and measure the effectiveness of indoor marketing campaigns.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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