Kinect Gamifies Medical Recoveries
Microsoft's Kinect sensor technology helps Jintronix deliver low-cost, home-based physical therapy to patients who have suffered strokes.Soon after its release, intrepid hackers expanded on Kinect's capabilities beyond the realm of video games. Now, health care technologists are using Microsoft's sensor to improve the recovery rates of stroke victims. Originally an add-on for the company's Xbox 360 console, the Kinect camera and motion sensing device have proved popular among inventors, PC enthusiasts and startups as a low-cost way to bring the real world into computing environments, and vice versa. Jintronix, based in Montreal and Seattle, is using the technology to provide therapy at home. Currently in closed beta, the company's offering provides "an affordable motion-capture system for physical rehabilitation that uses Microsoft Kinect for Windows," said Microsoft in a Jan. 22 Kinect for Windows Blog post. Installed at the patient's home, the system improves the chances of restoring physical functions after a stroke by gamifying exercises. Jintronix's technology aims to help patients stick to their rehabilitation programs and remove the time, cost and distance barriers of making regular visits to clinics. "Jintronix tackles all of these issues by providing patients with fun, 'gamified' exercises that accelerate recovery and increase adherence," noted Microsoft.
Beyond fun and games, "Jintronix gives patients immediate feedback, which ensures that they perform their movements correctly. This is critical when the patient is exercising at home," added the company.