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Development of a Serious Game to Enhance Assistive Rehabilitation

posted Dec 6, 2017, 10:45 PM by Mauro Bellone
The aim of this study to investigate of novel assistive technologies based on serious gaming for the assessment of postural control and motor rehabilitation. Previous research already demonstrated that rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and physical activities can improve the quality of life of patients, and virtual reality applications may act as good additional companions during the therapeutic sessions. Indeed, workout routines supported by serious gaming encourage patients to train harder, bringing the therapy towards a pleasant game into a virtual environment, where specific goals must be reached. During the game, sensors track the movements of the players and transfer the data to software components that record a database from which patients’ progress can be determined. The acquired measures are interpreted in the form of new biomarkers, which enable the assessment of postural control. Such biomarkers are based on a probabilistic approach and show the capability to discriminate between well-performed exercises and incorrect movements. A long-term experimentation on a specific exercise is proposed, showing a considerable improvement, ranging from 5% to 30%, in the performance of patients . 
The main contributions of this research are: i) the definition of new biomarkers for the postural assessment of patients affected by motor disorders; ii) the use of non-intrusive technologies, which enhances the freedom of movement for patients, increasing the reliability of the results; iii) the design of a virtual reality interface, which allows patients to interact in a pleasant and familiar environment without constant supervision; iv) the development of a new editor to easily customize virtual exercises, analyze rehabilitation progress, and create statistics.

YouTube Video

M. Bellone, A, Martini, F. Argese, P. Cirillo, I. Spada, and A. Cerasa - "Development of a Serious Game to Enhance Assistive Rehabilitation"  International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics - (in press) [DRAFT soon]