04

March
2011

Oovit PT - Making Physical Therapy Fun

Oovit PT - Making Physical Therapy Fun

Patient adherence to physical therapy regimens is poor, and there is a lack of quantitative data about patient performance, particularly at home. Oovit PT aims to build an end-to-end virtual rehabilitation system for supporting patient adherence to home exercise that addresses the multi-factorial nature of the problem. During Health and Wellness Innovation 2011, Sai Moturu of the New Media Medicine group at the MIT Media Lab developed Oovit PT into a 3D game. The heel-slide exercise becomes a fun variation of shuffleboard that encourages the patient to perform the exercise correctly in order to achieve higher scores. Oovit PT is being developed as a CollaboRhythm plug-in so that the physical therapist can remotely monitor rehab performance, adjust goals, and provide social support.

Video Transcript:

Here, we observe a patient performing physical therapy at home for a replaced knee. Patient adherence to these exercise regimens is critical for ideal treatment outcomes. However, adherence is typically poor because the paper instructions provided can be difficult to interpret, the exercises can be uncomfortable and repetitive, and the short-term benefits can be difficult to perceive. These factors can lead to general feelings of futility, resulting in cessation of the regimen.

To address these issues, we are building a virtual rehabilitation system for home exercise with quantitative performance measurements packaged in a fun and engaging sensor-enabled game interface.

The exercise, in this case the heel slide, is transformed into a game that motivates the user. Visual and auditory cues guide the user and provide positive reinforcement. Quantitative data about user performance is collected from the sensors worn by the user and fed back to the therapist.

The physical therapist monitors user progress remotely through automatically generated reports. He can also adjust the regimens remotely and provide reinforcing feedback through video messages.

Patients can also compete against each other for greater engagement, and share progress with family and friends for better social support.

Through the use of engaging interfaces and persuasive feedback mechanisms, the system addresses the causes for poor adherence to improve patient outcomes.