Using Non-Traditional Interfaces to Support Physical Therapy for Knee Strengthening.

Physical therapy consists mainly in the execution of rehabilitation processes that aim to help overcome injuries, as well as develop, maintain, or restore maximum body movement. Knee rehabilitation is one kind of physical therapy that requires daily exercises which could be considered monotonous and boring by the patients, discouraging their improvement. This is coupled with the fact that most physical therapists assess exercise performance through verbal and visual means with mostly manual measurements, making it difficult to constantly verify and validate if patients perform the exercises correctly. This article describes a physical therapy monitoring system that uses wearable technology to assess exercise performance and patient progress. This wearable device is able to measure and transfer the movement’s data from the patient’s limb to a mobile device. Moreover, the user interface is a game, which provides an entertaining approach to therapy exercising.

In this article, it is shown that the developed system significantly increases daily user engagement in rehabilitation exercises, through a gameplay that matches physical therapy requirements for knee rehabilitation, as well as offering useful quantitative information to therapists.

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