Using Leap Motion and Gamification to Facilitate and Encourage Rehabilitation for Hand Injuries: Leap Motion for Rehabilitation

Using Leap Motion and Gamification to Facilitate and Encourage Rehabilitation for Hand Injuries: Leap Motion for Rehabilitation

Jamie Taylor (University of Kent, UK) and Kevin Curran (University of Ulster, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9522-1.ch009
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Abstract

Injuries to the hand are more common than those of any other body region and can have considerable financial, time-measured and psychological impact on not only the victim but also the community as a whole. Hand rehabilitation aims to return people to their pre-injury roles and occupations and has proved largely successful in doing so with the potential for technology to improve these results further. However, most technology used in hand rehabilitation is based on expensive and non-durable glove-based systems and issues with accuracy are common among those that are not glove-based. This chapter proposes the use of accurate, affordable and portable solutions such as the Leap Motion as a tool for hand rehabilitation. User feedback can be provided primarily through an animated 3d hand model as the user performs rehabilitative exercises.
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Background

Hand rehabilitation therapy is a form of occupational therapy (Burke, 2009). Hand rehabilitation/therapy is focused on “…enabling the client to regain functional use of the traumatized arm and hand … and return to their pre-injury occupations.” (Case-Smith, 2003). The treatment offered by hand therapy can be divided into two main categories; these are preventative, non-operative and post-operative. Using the information presented in (American Society for Surgery of the Hand, 2011), a more complete list of treatment options offered through hand therapy can be compiled and is presented in Table 1.

Table 1.
Non-Operative/Postoperative Hand Therapy Treatments
Preventative, Non-Operative, ConservativePostoperative Rehabilitation
Management of acute or chronic painManagement of open or sutured wounds
Desensitization following nerve injury or traumaControl of hypertrophic or hypersensitive scars
Sensory re-education after nerve injuryReduction of swelling
Design and implementation of home exercise programs to increase motion, dexterity and/or strengthFabrication of orthoses to protect surgery or increase movement
Training in performance of daily life skills through adapted methods and equipmentInstruction in home exercise program
Splint fabrication for prevention or correction of injury
Conditioning prior to returning to work

Key Terms in this Chapter

Leap Motion: The Leap is a recently released motion-based device for computer interaction developed by Leap Motion Inc. offering accuracy to within 0.01mm. The device is made up of 2 monochromatic IR cameras and 3 infrared LEDs giving the device a semi-spherical observational area with a distance of approximately 1 meter.

Data Glove: A glove which can be connected through a wire or wirelessly to a computer (or mobile device) to record movement. Glove vary in accuracy and this is usually in accordance with the price.

Hand Rehabilitation: Hand rehabilitation aims to return people to their pre-injury roles and occupations and has proved largely successful in doing so with the potential for technology to improve these results further.

Rehabilitation Counseling: Is focused on helping people who have disabilities achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals through a counseling process.

EyeToy: The EyeToy is a color digital camera device, similar to a webcam, for the PlayStation 2. The technology uses computer vision and gesture recognition to process images taken by the camera. This allows players to interact with games using motion, color detection and also sound, through its built-in microphone. It was released in October 2003.

Gamification: Gamification is the use of game-like elements in traditionally non-game like settings and has been proven to increase user enjoyment and participation.

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