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IT builds software to boost patient’s engagement in physiotherapy

by IT on 24-01-2018
Developed by a multidisciplinary research team, under the coordination of Octavian Postolache from IT in ISCTE-IUL, project TailorPhy can contribute to improve the quality of physiotherapy sessions.

Using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to monitor physiotherapy exercises. This is the starting point of project TailorPhy - Smart Sensors and Tailored Environments for Phisiotherapy. The main goal of this IT project is the development, application and evaluation of a system of information whose configurations can be tailored to measure the patient´s balance and functional movements during their physiotherapy sessions. “Through this research we wish to contribute to the development of a system that can adapt to the needs of both the users and physiotherapists, to increase the effectiveness of the intervention in general and to help improve the users´ postural control, balance and the control of functional body movements in particular”, explains Octavian Postolache.
The research team designed software applications to allow physiotherapists to manage, in their clinic or remotely, the routines and exercises for the training of upper and lower limbs functional movements; kinect-based applications with serious games (JustPhysioKidding, Apple Harvesting) for training the upper limbs movements; kinect-based application with serious games for training the lower limbs movements and overall body balance (Step the Tile, Leaning); application based on Leap Motion Controller for training the hands movements; and application for monitoring the physiotherapy results of patients using a walker by measuring the pressure center distribution during the gait.

For example, JustPhysiokidding is a platform that can help in the physical rehabilitation of children suffering from brain paralysis. These games engage children in doing the repetitive movements defined by a therapist as necessary for their physical rehabilitation. “Using the interface, the therapist can analyse the collected data” - said André Antunes, one of the researchers involved in this project - which allows monitoring the rehabilitation and the patient improvements.