Web sites have figured out that “gamifying” things increases participation. For example, you’ve probably boosted your postings on a forum just to get a senior contributor badge (that isn’t even really a badge, but a picture of one). Now [Yash Soni] has brought the same idea to physical therapy.
[Yash]’s father had to go through boring physical therapy to treat a slipped disk, and it prompted him into developing KinectoTherapy which aims to make therapy more like a video game. They claim it can be used to help many types of patients ranging from stroke victims to those with cerebral palsy.
Patients can see their onscreen avatar duplicate their motions and can provide audio and visual feedback when the player makes a move correctly or incorrectly. Statistical data is also available to the patient’s health care professionals.
This isn’t an original idea (see the videos below), but with an IEEE paper and apparently a lot of participation from medical professionals, it looked like a strong contender for future growth. The interesting trend, though, is the many unique uses we’ve seen for the Kinect device and the idea that gaming trends may become commercially important outside the gamer community.