Thursday, 4 July 2013

Kinecto Therapy - Rehab with the Kinect

Astrojumper with Kinect camera

Disabled access to the Xbox Kinect - hardware and games

Much has been discussed since the release of the Kinect about its accessibility for wheelchair users or those with a disability.

Early on published two articles - links below, that present the current issues and presented the hardware as it was back then.  They present the issues clearly and honestly, highlighting some potential developments that were hoped would influence game development, with the disabled user in mind.

Kinect and the disabled part 1

Kinect and the disabled part 2

So where are we now?  The Kinect is now established as a motion controller, both for the Xbox itself and with a PC.  Whilst the Xbox Kinect games continue to cater for the commercial gaming population, the PC setup is slowly turning to address the more bespoke needs of those engaged in therapy or rehabilitation.  The main influential factor over the success of any of these newly emerging Therapy games/software is that Microsoft endorse it and have done so by releasing its 'Service Development Kit (SDK)' for anyone to use and develop software with - something Nintendo never did.

This means that anyone with an idea and money to develop can put together a piece of software that will  potentially cater for, and address, the needs of a patient and therapist.  Software, such as SeeMe Rehabilitation, already demonstrates the potential that the Kinect/PC combination can offer.

There are still limitations though.  The Kinect recognises skeletal points in order to work effectively but can still become very confused.  Patients who present with hemiplegia, limited active movement in one arm or other similar postural deformities may find that the Kinect does not 'see' them.  Equally whilst someone using a self propelled wheelchair will be recognised straight away, someone else using a powered wheelchair, with joystick control for example, may find themselves struggling to be noticed and registered within the game.

About WHI's Reflexion -- the Rehab Measurement Tool

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A feasibility study of an upper limb rehabilitation system using kinect and computer games.

Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2012 Aug;2012:1286-9.

Pastor I, Hayes HA, Bamberg SJ.

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A new low-cost system for rehabilitation of the impaired upper limb for stroke survivors is presented. A computer game was developed specifically for this purpose and the user's impaired upper extremity is tracked using a downward-pointed Kinect, an inexpensive motion capture system commercially available from Microsoft. A Kalman filter was implemented to reduce data jittering. Patients are required to move their impaired arm, sliding it on top of a transparent support, in order to play the game. The game is personalized to the patient through specific settings that adapt to the patient's range of motion and motor control at the start of the game as well as performance during the game. The final score is proportional to the arm's movement speed. A feasibility study was carried out with one stroke survivor. The game was played for ten days and usability surveys were answered before and after the study. The patient was engaged with the game, found it easy to understand and reported willingness to use it in the home environment and enjoyment of the use in the clinic.

Click here for PDF

Full body gait analysis with Kinect

Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2012 Aug;2012:1964-7.

Gabel M, Gilad-Bachrach R, Renshaw E, Schuster A.

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Human gait is an important indicator of health, with applications ranging from diagnosis, monitoring, and rehabilitation. In practice, the use of gait analysis has been limited. Existing gait analysis systems are either expensive, intrusive, or require well-controlled environments such as a clinic or a laboratory. We present an accurate gait analysis system that is economical and non-intrusive. Our system is based on the Kinect sensor and thus can extract comprehensive gait information from all parts of the body. Beyond standard stride information, we also measure arm kinematics, demonstrating the wide range of parameters that can be extracted. We further improve over existing work by using information from the entire body to more accurately measure stride intervals. Our system requires no markers or battery-powered sensors, and instead relies on a single, inexpensive commodity 3D sensor with a large preexisting install base. We suggest that the proposed technique can be used for continuous gait tracking at home.

Click here for more information or here for PDF