Conventional functional rehabilitation costs time, money and effort for the patients and for the medical staff. Serious games have been used as a new approach to improve the performance as well as to possibly reduce medical cost in the future for cognitive rehabilitation and body balance control. The objective of this present work was to perform a feasibility study on the use of a new real-time serious game system for improving the musculoskeletal rehabilitation of the lower limbs.
Materials and methods
A basic functional rehabilitation exercise database was established with different levels of difficulties. A 3D virtual avatar was created and scaled to represent each subject-specific body. A portable and affordable Kinect sensor was used to capture real-time kinematics during each exercise. A specific data coupling process was developed. An evaluation campaign was established to assess the developed system.
The squats exercise was the hardest challenge. Moreover, the performance of each functional rehabilitation exercise depended on the physiological profile of each participant. Our game system was clear and attractive for all functional rehabilitation exercises. All testing subjects felt motivated and secure when playing the rehabilitation game.
The comparison with other systems showed that our system was the first one focusing on the functional rehabilitation exercises of the lower limbs.
Our system showed useful functionalities for a large range of applications (rehabilitation at home, sports training). Looking forward, new in-situation exercises will be investigated for specific musculoskeletal disorders.