Brooks Launches Microsoft Kinect Based Physical Therapy Pilot


Feb 13, 2015

In partnership with Reflexion Health, Brooks Rehabilitation is leveraging Microsoft™ technology to improve the patient experience after a knee or hip replacement. 

The Microsoft Kinect™-based physical therapy program monitors patients as they perform their rehabilitation exercises at home. Vera™, Reflexion Health’s customized software platform, incorporates Microsoft’s motion-tracking technology to provide patients with an interactive way to complete their home exercise program.

“Reflexion shares our commitment to innovation. By repurposing gaming technology to digital therapy, the aim is to better engage the patient in their recovery, thereby bringing about a higher level of patient satisfaction and outcomes,” said Michael Spigel, president and COO of Brooks. “We understand the potential that technology has to change and enhance healthcare.”

Instant Feedback

Vera™ coaches patients through physical therapy exercises while sending real-time information and qualitative data back to their clinicians. The system allows the patient and physical therapist to interact in real time through video. Therapists can also review videos taken while the patient is exercising, and based on the results, quickly assess areas where a patient may be having difficulty.

“One of the features I’ve been most impressed with is the system’s ability to capture subtle deviations from optimal form. If a patient is trying to move their hip to the right but they twist their hip, the system will provide feedback on the screen telling them how to perform the exercise correctly. It picks up the nuances that are really important to a physical therapist,” said Drew Kayser, PT, clinical orthopedic therapy coordinator at Brooks Home Care.

A therapist can also change the exercise program remotely to ensure the patient always has a personalized plan that is most appropriate at each phase of recovery.

“It’s been shown time and time again that adherence to a home exercise program generates better results, but only about 25% of patients adhere to their exercise program. If they have to log in, I can tell how much they are exercising and how accurate they are with their specific exercises. It provides a level of engagement and accountability that will ultimately benefit them in the long run,” said Kayser.

Bringing the Innovation to Brooks

Vera™ is currently in a closed beta test with a select number of organizations. Brooks Rehabilitation was chosen as one of five pilot sites. After a knee or hip replacement, Brooks’ patients are screened to see whether they meet criteria to use the at-home system. They begin working with a therapist who sets up Vera™ in their home for the duration of their rehab. Feedback provided from Brooks will allow Reflexion to make additional, clinically based enhancements to the system.

“We are pleased to be working with a leader in rehabilitation who shares our vision of utilizing technology to enhance care,” said Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Reflexion Health. “Brooks shares our commitment to bringing cutting edge tools into the hands of clinicians and patients now. Healthcare needs tools that can extend the expertise of physical therapists and find better ways to engage, motivate and coach patients towards optimal recovery.”

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