The pandemic forced the healthcare sector to fast-track the integration of digital medical technology to navigate the impact of lockdowns on many occupational therapy and physiotherapy clients isolated at home, while hundreds of therapists were deployed to in-patient wards during the peak of the pandemic.
It has driven a need for a remote rehab service that can keep clients engaged at home and ensure their training activities remain purposeful and personalised. Gamification represents a highly effective solution to this need.
Gamification is the use of game design in non-game contexts to motivate patients to improve their own clinical outcomes through purposeful and engaging activities.
Benefits of gamification
Serious games are games that have education or rehabilitation as a primary goal, combining entertainment, attentional engagement and problem solving to challenge function and performance. By linking to personalised goals, serious games can have a pronounced positive impact on daily adherence when used in rehabilitation. Additionally, serious games can reduce tiredness and boredom associated with regular rehabilitation by adding entertainment into therapy.
Essentially, gamification can help transform a mundane rehab regime into something that is fun and enjoyable – without taking away from the potential effectiveness of the training.
One example of a device doing just that for people with upper limb impairment is GripAble – a smart mobile assessment and training device that connects to an app. The app is home to motivating and engaging activities that reflect functional needs and help to keep the user engaged in their daily rehab regime through the delivery of serious games. Patients and their therapists receive immediate feedback, can record goals in both minutes and in repetitions, benchmark activity against a goal, and track all activity and history over time.
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