PhysicAAL - Kinect-controlled Physical Rehabilitation Games for Ambient Assisted Living Environments

Rehabilitation and physiotherapy sessions are essential to treat injuries and regain some basic movements that were performed without limitations before the injury. Traditionally those sessions take place in a clinic or health center and involve repeating movements that exercise the part of the body under treatment. The constant repetition of these movements tend to make the sessions less innovative and dynamic, which leads to the loss of interest of the patient who is injured, and in addition is in a heavy and discouraging environment. These factors can lead to an increased demotivation throughout the rehabilitation process causing patients a willingness to finish the session and go home, without having in mind if their evolutionary process is going well.

So, the inclusion of the developed electronic games that include movements normally used in physical therapy can be seen as an extra factor of motivation, allowing the patient to face his rehabilitation process in a different way and making sessions more dynamic and positive, which leads to the satisfaction of both physiotherapist and patient. The development of a system that supports these games, composed by a motion sensor, a GoogleTV and a television, also allowed the implementation of a method to capture the angles made by the user when performing movements, so the physiotherapist can evaluate the evolution of his patient. Thus, the system can be seen as a complement for the physiotherapist mission of helping the patients recover and evaluating them.

In order to make all of this possible there was an accompaniment of the physiotherapis when making a survey of requirements about movements and their evaluation measures, so the games could be subsequently created and developed to be used in a professional context as the final testing phase proved.


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