Genesis Rehab Services (GRS) and Respond Well have been awarded joint winner's of the Microsoft 2014 Health Users Group Innovation Award for Patient Engagement. Their creation, the Genesis Rehab Services Virtual Trainer, is an interactive and engaging falls prevention and rehab solution which allows patients to access a virtual therapist via a Microsoft Kinect for Windows device.
The Microsoft Kinect gives computers eyes, ears and a brain, and is being used as part of the Genesis Rehab Services Virtual Trainer alongside their falls risk management programme, Balance in Action®, to encourage older adults to exercise, to provide data on adherence and to assist health professionals in monitoring patients at home.
Following on from an initial falls assessment, therapists prescribe an individually tailored exercise routine comprised of balance, strength, and walking movements to each patient within the service. At home, the patient performs this routine by following an animated virtual therapist. The Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor evaluates the patient's form and the Virtual Trainer provides additional encouragement and cues as needed. Performance data is collected from each session and analysed to help predict future outcomes and improve care for both individual patients and larger populations.
Designed primarily for older adults, the Genesis Rehab Services Virtual Trainer is based on an evidence-based exercise programme to reduce falls and fall-related injuries in frail older adults by increasing the patient's level of physical activity, engagement, and adherence to an exercise programme over time.