Monitoring of Patients with Neurological Diseases: Development of a Motion Tracking Application Using Image Processing Techniques

Monitoring of Patients with Neurological Diseases: Development of a Motion Tracking Application Using Image Processing Techniques

Tiago Rafael dos Santos Martins Pereira Rodrigues (R&D Centre Algoritmi, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal), Vítor Carvalho (R&D Centre Algoritmi, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal) and Filomena Soares (R&D Centre Algoritmi, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/ijbce.2013070104
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Abstract

The number of people with severe physical disabilities is considerable and, therefore, it is essential to provide a correct physical therapy program to enhance their life quality. Some studies suggest serious games can play an important role when used in physical therapy, since they create an agreeable environment that motivates patients to perform the necessary exercises with pleasure and relaxation and in consequence to continue with their physical therapy programs while necessary. At present several serious games are being used in many situations. Thus, different uses of serious games in physical therapy of patients with mobility problems will be presented. Also, the first steps on the development of serious game application will be presented. The application runs for physical therapy and monitoring of patients with neurological diseases, and it is based on image processing techniques for validation of movements (non-invasive equipment).
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Background

There is a significant number of individuals who have severe motor impairments resulting from neurological or musculoskeletal problems (Barreto et al., 2000), so they need rehabilitation programs and appropriate physical therapy, enabling them to optimize their quality of life (Vanacken et al., 2010).

The practice of physical therapy is based on repetitive exercises, which become monotonous, discouraging the patients and leads them to feel detached, especially when they do not have positive results in a short term. (Ryan et al., 2009; Carvalho et al., 2011). As these repetitive exercises are fundamental in physical therapy of patients who have their motor performance reduced, it is necessary to develop strategies that motivate them to continue their treatment. Serious games seem to be a convenient tool (Martins et al., 2013).

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