PocketPT – A Personalized Therapeutic Game Platform

Jonathan Engelsma ., April Gamble ., Cathy Harro ., John Farris .


Consumer gaming platforms such as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect have been used for therapeutic purposes with varying levels of success. One limitation is the fact that most commercially available video games are designed for the general population and are often overwhelming and difficult for patients to use that present with motor and cognitive impairments as a result of brain injury. Specialized therapeutic medical devices are not only expensive and non-portable, they also make limited use of video games features to better engage and motivate the patient. This study aims to overcome these shortcomings and provide game developers and stakeholders with a more nuanced understanding of how video game technology can be effectively used for physical therapy. A collaborative initiative involving a group of software developers, hardware designers and physical therapists, set out to identify and address the issues that have made the adoption of existing game platforms for therapeutic purposes problematic in a clinical setting. The outcome of this initiative is PocketPT – a personalized therapeutic game platform that provides a therapist designed and configured therapeutic game experience that is customized for a particular patient’s unique presentation. Results from an initial clinical study with participants with brain injuries are reported and discussed.

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