From theory to practice
We all know that regular physical exercise is essential for a healthy body. That’s particularly important after injury or illness. Regular exercises are key to building back lost functions as well as improving our well-being.
As professionals, we also know the real practical problems with rehabilitation.
- The exercise machines are big, bulky and often very expensive (tens of thousands of Euros).
- And yet patients still find them a chore to use. Only a tiny minority really enjoy working out – and this is not usually the core group of people that visit physiotherapist clinics.
Doctor Kinetic – An efficient, fun alternative
Andrew Olszewski is a computer software engineer who understands the challenge of rehabilitation like no other. It took him more than two years to recover from a complex football injury sustained while tackling an opponent. Whilst the injury ended his ambition to be a professional player, he realised that the road to recovery meant a lot of walking. The problem was that the daily walks were intensely boring – and that didn’t encourage a speedy recovery.
Andrew teamed up with a friend he’d met in college. While he had chosen the field of computer software, his colleague Michal had become a licensed physiotherapist. In fact it was Michal’s father who had operated on Andrew’s leg after the football accident. Today they founded Doctor Kinetic.
Three Brand New Worlds
For 2013, we have developed three new “worlds” for the Kinect platform.
- A fantasy world. This is the platform where patients learn the exercises. Each game starts with a warming up phase before the exercise begins.
- Basketball Game. This world is much faster and more dynamic. The aim here is to practice what you’ve already learned, trying to beat your previous score. Copy the exercise (such as side stepping). If you do it at just the right pace, you’ll shoot the ball and get it in the basket.
- Roll a ball. In this game patients are balancing with their chest. The aim is to improve their balance and stability.
Within each world we have developed a suite of games. The difficulty level and speed are continuously variable, so that these games can be played by all ages. Other worlds are in development for 2013. The games follow different exercise routines, but they have a few things in common.
The games do not require the patient to read written instructions. You simply switch on the computer, select the game from the menu and then follow the visual instructions on the screen. We use a combination of figures and written commands which appear on the screen. These instructions are currently available in English and Dutch. Adapting the games for use in other languages is simple and fast.
Doctor Kinetic offers the software on a subscription service. Updates to the games come via the web, in the same way that apps on an iPad or Android Tablet are updated. Contact us for more details.