Doctors prescribing Kinect? Technology gives physical therapy a boost

The rehabilitation process can be just as brutal as the accident or injury that landed a patient there in the first place. In an effort to make physical therapy more engaging and efficient to patients (and therefore more successful for recovery), one company turned to Kinect, Microsoft’s hands-free, motion-sensing device for Xbox and Windows.

Reflexion Health used Kinect for Windows to develop a Rehabilitation Measurement Tool (RMT), which gives patients avatars, education, and a physical therapy plan while providing to clinicians valuable information they can use to more easily measure a patient’s progress.

“Kinect for Windows helps motivate patients to do physical therapy – and the data set we gather when they use the RMT is becoming valuable to demonstrate what form of therapy is most effective, what types of patients react better to what type of therapy, and how to best deliver that therapy. Those questions have vexed people for a long time,” says Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, co-founder at Reflexion Health.

In 2011, Reflexion Health tested the tool at the Orthopedic Surgery Department of the Naval Medical Center San Diego. Reflexion Health said the experience confirmed that software could be “prescribed” to help patients just as pharmaceuticals and medical devices and what’s more, could help lower the cost of healthcare.

Read the Kinect for Windows blog for more information, or check out a case study that outlines the results of the Kinect RMT clinical trials at Naval Medical Center.

Jennifer Warnick
Microsoft News Center Staff