Posts Tagged human computer interaction

[Abstract] Towards an Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Smarter Post-Stroke Rehabilitation


Traditional forms of physical therapy and rehabilitation are often based on therapist observation and judgment, coincidentally this process oftentimes can be inaccurate, expensive, and non-timely. Modern immersive Virtual Reality systems provide a unique opportunity to make the therapy process smarter. In this paper, we present an immersive virtual reality stroke rehabilitation game based on a widely accepted therapy method, Constraint-Induced Therapy, that was evaluated by nine post-stroke participants. We implement our game as a dynamically adapting system that can account for the user’s motor abilities while recording real-time motion capture and behavioral data. The game also can be used for tele-rehabilitation, effectively allowing therapists to connect with the participant remotely while also having access to +90Hz real-time biofeedback data. Our quantitative and qualitative results suggest that our system is useful in increasing affordability, accuracy, and accessibility of post-stroke motor treatment.

via Towards an Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Smarter Post-Stroke Rehabilitation – IEEE Conference Publication

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[Abstract] Virtual Activities of Daily Living for Recovery of Upper Extremity Motor Function


A study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of virtual activities of daily living (ADL) practice using the SaeboVR software system for the recovery of upper extremity (UE) motor function following stroke. The system employs Kinect sensor-based tracking to translate human UE motion into the anatomical pose of the arm of the patient’s avatar within a virtual environment, creating a virtual presence within a simulated task space. Patients gain mastery of 12 different integrated activities while traversing a metaphorical ‘road to recovery’ that includes thematically linked levels and therapist-selected difficulty settings. Clinical trials were conducted under the study named Virtual Occupational Therapy Application. A total of 15 chronic phase stroke survivors completed a protocol involving three sessions per week over eight weeks, during which they engaged in repetitive task practice through performance of the virtual ADLs. Results show a clinically important improvement and statistically significant difference in Fugl-Meyer UE assessment scores in the study population of chronic stroke survivors over the eight-week interventional period compared with a non-interventional control period of equivalent duration. Statistically significant and clinically important improvements are also found in the wolf motor function test scores. These results provide new evidence for the use of virtual ADL practice as a tool for UE therapy for stroke patients. Limitations of the study include non-blinded assessments and the possibility of selection and/or attrition bias. © 2017 IEEE.


via Scopus preview – Scopus – Document details

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[Abstract+References] The Face Tracking System for Rehabilitation Robotics Applications – Conference paper


The paper presents the working model of the face tracking system. The proposed solution may be used as one of the parts of the rehabilitation or assistive robotic system and serve as the robotic vision subsystem or as the module controlling robotic arm. It is a low-cost design, it is based on open source hardware and software components. As a hardware base the Raspberry Pi computer was used. The machine vision software is based on Python programming language and OpenCV computer vision library.



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via The Face Tracking System for Rehabilitation Robotics Applications | SpringerLink

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[Abstract+References] Impact of commercial sensors in human computer interaction: a review


Nowadays, the communication gap between humans and computers might be reduced due to multimodal sensors available in the market. Therefore, it is important to know the specifications of these sensors and how they are being used in order to create human computer interfaces, which tackle complex tasks. The purpose of this paper is to review recent research regarding the up-to-date application areas of the following sensors:

(1) Emotiv sensor, which identifies emotions, facial expressions, thoughts, and head movements from users through electroencephalography signals,

(2) Leap motion controller, which recognizes hand and arm movements via vision techniques,

(3) Myo armband, which identifies hand and arm movements using electromyography signals and inertial sensors, and

(4) Oculus rift, which provides immersion into virtual reality to users.

The application areas discussed in this manuscript go from assistive technology to virtual tours. Finally, a brief discussion regarding advantages and shortcomings of each sensor is presented.


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Source: Impact of commercial sensors in human computer interaction: a review | SpringerLink

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[Conference paper] Assistance System for Rehabilitation and Valuation of Motor Skills – Abstract+References


This article proposes a non-invasive system to stimulate the rehabilitation of motor skills, both of the upper limbs and lower limbs. The system contemplates two ambiances for human-computer interaction, depending on the type of motor deficiency that the patient possesses, i.e., for patients with chronic injuries, an augmented reality environment is considered, while virtual reality environments are used in people with minor injuries. In the cases mentioned, the interface allows visualizing both the routine of movements performed by the patient and the actual movement executed by him.

This information is relevant for the purpose of

  • (i) stimulating the patient during the execution of rehabilitation, and
  • (ii) evaluation of the movements made so that the therapist can diagnose the progress of the patient’s rehabilitation process.

The visual environment developed for this type of rehabilitation provides a systematic application in which the user first analyzes and generates the necessary movements in order to complete the defined task.

The results show the efficiency of the system generated by the human-computer interaction oriented to the development of motor skills.


Source: Assistance System for Rehabilitation and Valuation of Motor Skills | SpringerLink

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[Abstract] Architecture guideline for game-based stroke rehabilitation


Strokes are the most common cause of long-term disability of adults in developed countries. Continuous participation in rehabilitation can alleviate some of the consequences, and support recovery of stroke patients. However, physical rehabilitation requires commitment to tedious exercise routines over lengthy periods of time, which often cause patients to drop out of this form of therapy. In this context, game-based stroke rehabilitation has the potential to address two important barriers: accessibility of rehabilitation, and patient motivation.

This paper provides a review of design efforts in human-computer interaction (HCI) and gaming research to support stroke rehabilitation.

Source: Architecture guideline for game-based stroke rehabilitation: World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development: Vol 14, No 2/3

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[Thesis] Exploring In-Home Monitoring of Rehabilitation and Creating an Authoring Tool for Physical Therapists – Full Text PDF


Physiotherapy is a key part of treatment for neurological and musculoskeletal disorders, which affect millions in the U.S. each year. Physical therapy treatments typically consist of an initial diagnostic session during which patients’ impairments are assessed and exercises are prescribed to improve the impaired functions. As part of the treatment program, exercises are often assigned to be performed at home daily. Patients return to the clinic weekly or biweekly for check-up visits during which the physical therapist reassesses their condition and makes further treatment decisions, including readjusting the exercise prescriptions.

Most physical therapists work in clinics or hospitals. When patients perform their exercises at home, physical therapists cannot supervise them and lack quantitative exercise data reflecting the patients’ exercise compliance and performance. Without this information, it is difficult for physical therapists to make informed decisions or treatment adjustments. To make informed decisions, physical therapists need to know how often patients exercise, the duration and/or repetitions of each session, exercise metrics such as the average velocities and ranges of motion for each exercise, patients’ symptom levels (e.g. pain or dizziness) before and after exercise, and what mistakes patients make.

In this thesis, I evaluate and work towards a solution to this problem. The growing ubiquity of mobile and wearable technology makes possible the development of “virtual rehabilitation assistants.” Using motion sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes that are embedded in a wearable device, the “assistant” can mediate between patients at home and physical therapists in the clinic. Its functions are to:

  • use motion sensors to record home exercise metrics for compliance and performance and report these metrics to physical therapists in real-time or periodically;
  • allow physical therapists and patients to quantify and see progress on a fine-grain level;
  • record symptom levels to further help physical therapists gauge the effectiveness of exercise prescriptions;
  • offer real-time mistake recognition and feedback to the patients during exercises;

One contribution of this thesis is an evaluation of the feasibility of this idea in real home settings. Because there has been little research on wearable virtual assistants in patient homes, there are many unanswered questions regarding their use and usefulness:

  • Q1. What patient in-home data could wearable virtual assistants gather to support physical therapy treatments?
  • Q2. Can patient data gathered by virtual assistants be useful to physical therapists?
  • Q3. How is this wearable in-home technology received by patients?

I sought to answer these questions by implementing and deploying a prototype called “SenseCap.” SenseCap is a small mobile device worn on a ball cap that monitors patients’ exercise movements and queries them about their symptoms. A technology probe study showed that the virtual assistant could gather important compliance, performance, and symptom data to assist physical therapists’ decision-making, and that this technology would be feasible and acceptable for in-home use by patients.

Another contribution of this thesis is the development of a tool to allow physical therapists to create and customize virtual assistants. With current technology, virtual assistants require engineering and programming efforts to design, implement, configure and deploy them. Because most physical therapists do not have access to an engineering team they and their patients would be unable to benefit from this technology. With the goal of making virtual assistants accessible to any physical therapist, I explored the following research questions:

  • Q4. Would a user-friendly rule-specification interface make it easy for physical therapists to specify correct and incorrect exercise movements directly to a computer? What are the limitations of this method of specifying exercise rules?
  • Q5. Is it possible to create a CAD-type authoring tool, based on a usable interface, that physical therapists could use to create their own customized virtual assistant for monitoring and coaching patients? What are the implementation details of such a system and the resulting virtual assistant?
  • Q6. What preferences do PTs have regarding the delivery of coaching feedback for patients?
  • Q7. What is the recognition accuracy of a virtual rehabilitation assistant created by this tool?

This dissertation research aims to improve our understanding of the barriers to rehabilitation that occur because of the invisibility of home exercise behavior, to lower these barriers by making it possible for patients to use a widely-available and easily-used wearable device that coaches and monitors them while they perform their exercises, and improve the ability of physical therapists to create an exercise regime for their patients and to learn what patients have done to perform these exercises. In doing so, treatment should be better suited to each patient and more successful.

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[ARTICLE] Movement-Based Interaction Applied to Physical Rehabilitation Therapies – Full Text HTML


Background: Health care environments are continuously improving conditions, especially regarding the use of current technology. In the field of rehabilitation, the use of video games and related technology has helped to develop new rehabilitation procedures. Patients are able to work on their disabilities through new processes that are more motivating and entertaining. However, these patients are required to leave their home environment to complete their rehabilitation programs.

Objective: The focus of our research interests is on finding a solution to eliminate the need for patients to interrupt their daily routines to attend rehabilitation therapy. We have developed an innovative system that allows patients with a balance disorder to perform a specific rehabilitation exercise at home. Additionally, the system features an assistive tool to complement the work of physiotherapists. Medical staff are thus provided with a system that avoids the need for them to be present during the exercise in specific cases in which patients are under suitable supervision.

Methods: A movement-based interaction device was used to achieve a reliable system for monitoring rehabilitation exercises performed at home. The system accurately utilizes parameters previously defined by the specialist for correct performance of the exercise. Accordingly, the system gives instructions and corrects the patient’s actions. The data generated during the session are collected for assessment by the specialist to adapt the difficulty of the exercise to the patient’s progress.

Results: The evaluation of the system was conducted by two experts in balance disorder rehabilitation. They were required to verify the effectiveness of the system, and they also facilitated the simulation of real patient behavior. They used the system freely for a period of time and provided interesting and optimistic feedback. First, they evaluated the system as a tool for real-life rehabilitation therapy. Second, their interaction with the system allowed us to obtain important feedback needed to improve the system.

Conclusions: The system improves the rehabilitation conditions of people with balance disorder. The main contribution comes from the fact that it allows patients to carry out the rehabilitation process at home under the supervision of physiotherapists. As a result, patients avoid having to attend medical centers. Additionally, medical staff have access to an assistant, which means their presence is not required in many exercises that involve constant repetition.

Full Text HTML –> JMIR-Movement-Based Interaction Applied to Physical Rehabilitation Therapies | Garrido Navarro | Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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ARTICLE: Human computer interactive system for fast recovery based stroke rehabilitation

…One way to improve the stroke rehabilitation process is through human interactive system, which can be achieved by augmented reality technology. This development draws from the work currently being pursued in the gaming industry to make the augmented reality technology more accessible to the medical industry for the improvement of stroke rehabilitation. In this paper, two augmented reality games: Pong Game and Goal Keeper Game were developed. These games have been designed for rehabilitation with consideration to human interactive systems and have features such as on-screen feedbacks and high immersive value to keep stroke victims motivated in the rehabilitation process. The developed games were aimed to replace boring and repetitive traditional rehabilitation exercises. This paper details the success of implementing augmented reality into the rehabilitation process, which will in turn contribute to society by minimizing the number of people living at home with stroke related disabilities and the requirement for direct supervision from therapist…

via IEEE Xplore Abstract (Abstract) – Human computer interactive system for fast recovery based stroke rehabilitation.

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