Who would've thought that video games held the key to less overhead for physical therapy and sports medicine clinics?
Research conducted at the University of Missouri shows how depth censors used in video game technology can potentially give healthcare providers a transportable and inexpensive motion lab (which normally cost around $100,000). A collaborative research effort involving the MU School of Health Professions, the MU College of Engineering, MU Health Care, the Mizzou Motion Analysis Center and the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute found the Microsoft Kinect 2.0's technological aptitude to be on par with traditional motion-capture technology. For sports medicine and physical therapy practices, this could mean easier access to a tool that can sufficiently evaluate lower limb movement. Furthermore, it would help to prevent patient injury and give insight what manner of rehabilitation should be taken.
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"Motion-based lab technology can help physical therapists, clinicians and athletic trainers analyze how we move—it also is very expensive. Some motion labs can cost upward of $100,000. Now, a team of University of Missouri researchers is finding that the depth camera often associated with video game systems can provide a variety of health care providers with objective information to improve patient care."
Many of the systems used to help physical therapists can be expensive, but now, researchers at the University of Missouri have created a new system that not only provides a much cheaper alternative, but is encouraging collaboration in the field of physical therapy.
And this project here, there's physical therapists involved, there's athletic trainers involved, there's orthopedic surgeons, there's engineers, physical therapy students, engineering students, all kind of working together.
The collaboration has allowed each person involved to test their skills while helping real patients. The system, which uses video game motion sensing technology, works by showing the main joints of the human body as patients move. The system can be used by physical therapists to discover and examine possible injuries in athletic clients.
Oh, it's exciting because we can use technology, which gives us accurate measurements instead of visually assessing a patient, with video, we can get a much more accurate assessment of the patient and much more objective data.
Besides the perks of the system, being portable and easier to set up, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, Marjorie Skubic, says that the motion sense system only costs around $150, compared to the much steeper price that a Vicon system costs.
Now, we compare it to the gold standard equipment, like an expensive Vicon system that's in this room, that might cost a hundred thousand dollars or a couple hundred thousand dollars, and this is something like $150, so it's a much cheaper solution.
The team in the lab have already begun to use the system and studies and have seen encouraging results.
It provides objective measures that a clinician can use to look at rehab outcomes, as well as potentially identify any kind of injury risk assessment for our population out there .
For the MU News Bureau, I'm Cailin Riley.