Recovery from injury or illness usually involves some form of exercise. However many older adults do not know how to properly perform these exercises.
Because older adults are more susceptible to falls and injuries, the study focused on this group. Those who exercise are known to benefit in terms of fewer falls, improved cardiovascular function, and better cognitive health. The images provided by this new technology helps patients, therapists and physicians better visualise individual movements during exercise. This allows the adaptation of techniques and treatment plans to maximize results and minimize the chance of future injuries.
Gregory Alexander, assistant professor of nursing, says, "If you go to a gym now, there is either no feedback or it is static. This technology is interactive because it tracks motion that patients can actually see. Integrating engineering data with health data gives you a much more powerful ability to make a clinical decision."
The system is unique because it extracts data from the images in a real environment, without changing the scene. All previous studies have been conducted in laboratory settings, which are artificial. The researchers expect this technology to improve the connections healthcare providers have with patients after they leave the hospital. It can be set up in private homes to provide feedback and encouragement, and also can be used to communicate with physicians and therapists. Sending messages this way can reduce the need for patients to visit physicians' offices, which further reduces the chance of travel-related injuries and is particularly helpful for those who live far away.
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