Healthcare at Play: Project uses games to treat arthritis | MCUTimes

Healthcare at Play: Project uses games to treat arthritis

Students at CU Denver’s Ingeniørhøjskolen, Design and Computing developed a project entitled “Healthcare at Play, “Seeking to help arthritis patients through video games. Trevor Libby, Nicholas Wilde, Linh Phuong Lam, Faisal Aldaihani, Burak Toklu and Mauricio Millan-Carlos created a unit to encourage people with arthritis in their hands to perform exercises. Sponsored by TIBCO Software, Inc., is looking for the project to make exercise fun.

In this video, engineering students explain how the project and its software work to treat osteoarthritis.

Glove prototype uses Spotfire software

Although there are many types of arthritis and hand conditions, students focused on osteoarthritis and designed a device to collect measurable data in terms of flexibility, position, and / or effort. To make exercise and recovery exciting, students used video games to motivate arthritis patients to train their hands, primarily fingers, without repeating tedious exercises. Hand exercises are very important because our hands are used for everyday activities and they can be damaged by poor ergonomics, repetitive tasks and aging.

Faculty advisors Dan Jensen and Jeffrey Selman helped students design a glove prototype with varying sensors. The different types of sensors tested included force-sensing resistors (FSR), flex sensors, and hall-effect sensors. A combination of flex sensors and linear hall-effect sensors offered the most promising results.

glove prototype
Glove prototype developed by engineering students

The sensor data is sent to an Arduino located in a portable 3D-printed housing, which is then sent to a computer that displays the game with associated prompts. Once a game is completed, the signal data from these sensors can be saved in a format to be sent to TIBCOs Spotfire analysis software and a visual report. With enough data and reuse, Spotfire can help locate any patterns or can be used to suggest areas for improvement that users may need.

An interdisciplinary project combining electrical and mechanical engineering and Healthcare at Play has also benefited from industry collaboration with TIBCO, a software and enterprise data firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

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