The Journal of mHealth Vol 2 Issue 4 (August) - Page 44

Gaming for Health Gaming for Health By Phyllissa Shelton and Rebecca Scott The future is here and almost everyone under the age of 60 is familiar with gaming and computer technology. This is surely the next big innovation in healthcare as we seek to hand more responsibility for health outcomes to patients themselves and continuously find ways of reducing unwarranted costs. Examples of how gaming is achieving these things are being seen today at the National Star College Cheltenham which cares for young disabled adults. More widely gaming technology is being trialled in a range of healthcare centres for patients with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Gaming in Action engaging and motivating for patients, featuring powerful audio and visual stimuli to help them overcome their limits and regain their motor abilities by exercising. Patients at the National Star College present with an array of conditions, predominantly Cerebral Palsy and Acquired Brain Injury. These patients have generally experienced a great deal of physiotherapy throughout their lives and the opportunity of offering new, interesting and motivational treatment activities is key to keeping them motivated and on board with their treatment plans. One of the important features of MIRA is that it gathers a large variety of statistics during game play, providing effective performance and exercise compliance monitoring of patients. Additionally, it functions as a diagnostic tool that measures range of motion (ROM) angles of the affected limb before and after the rehabilitation session and several other physical indices, such as the level of pain or stiffness for a specific limb. Whilst the use of technology doesn’t replace the patients’ traditional physiotherapy, it plays an important role in augmenting therapy and could potentially reduce the need for more traditional therapies. It is a valuable tool for Physiotherapists who are able to prescribe a set of MIRA exergames, bespoke for their patient, and be able to monitor the patients' performance qualitatively as well as quantitatively measured by the platform. At the National Star College, selected patients are incorporating specific gaming exercises within their therapy programme, with promising success. The gaming technology being deployed is MIRA, a software platform of virtual games with the purpose of aiding physical rehabilitation therapies and diagnosis processes of several orthopaedic and neurological disabilities. The sensor commonly used by the platform for user interaction with the software platform's games and diagnostic tools is the Microsoft Kinect, a 3D camera sensor PC compatible. This device has the capability of recognising the 3D location of H