Project Title: Gaming to support paediatric physiotherapy using the MIRA platform

Funder: MedCity

Project Summary:

Rehabilitation is an essential component of healthcare that requires treatment to be adapted to meet each patient’s needs, abilities and progress. Physiotherapy services are under-resourced, with the average waiting time in the UK for the first appointment being 11.8 weeks. Whilst patients recognise the benefits of physiotherapy, many of them are not sufficiently engaged and motivated to perform their treatment, particularly when at home.

MIRA Rehab have developed the concept of “Exergames” – exercising through gaming, using state-of-the-art, intuitive movement sensing technology and bespoke content that gamifies physiotherapy, enabling a more efficient delivery of physiotherapy and rehabilitation services, engaging patients to comply with their treatment through an interactive, challenging and fun experience. MIRA’s Exergames help patients perform the right exercises, gives them incentives to progress and tracks not only when they have done the exercises, but how effectively they are doing them, both at the clinic or at home.

MIRA aims to improve patient engagement through 1) an adaptive User Experience and User Interface for different age groups (according to their abilities to read, understand and follow written instructions (pre-school, primary school, adolescents)) and 2) game designs that respond to gender and age specific interests. We anticipate this enhanced level of engagement leading to improved physiotherapy compliance, which in turn may reduce pain, improve mood, decrease hospital visits, increase independence, and overall improve quality of life (better school attendance, better social integration), as well as reduce the cost burden on the healthcare system.

Project Aims/Objectives:

Three new Exergames will be developed and validated in close collaboration with clinicians and physiotherapists at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and researchers in SiMMS research group.  To reflect the range of paediatric patients typically treated at the units, we will aim to develop one Exergame each for post-operative rehab (e.g. orthopaedic trauma), soft tissue injuries (e.g. muscle / ligament sprains) and long term illnesses / disabilities. Validation will be both quantitative (e.g. motion analysis), as well as qualitative (e.g. clinical scores, etc). The new Exergames will not only be a significant addition to MIRA’s existing collection, but will also offer the opportunity to establish new long term partnerships with physiotherapy units, as well as help identify areas for future possible development.

In addition to the development of new Exergames, we also aim to improve the Exergame design process, from clinical need, to game specification and implementation. Guidelines for Exergame design will be produced by rigorously observing, documenting and iteratively refining the process. Similarly, bespoke performance metrics extracted from the movement sensors will be correlated to functional outcomes and suitable assessment methodologies for each of the three types of Exergames contemplated will be developed as part of the project.

Publication and Output


Haghighi Osgouei R, Soulsby D, Bello F, 2020, Rehabilitation Exergames: use of motion sensing and machine learning to quantify exercise performance in healthy volunteers, JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2369-2529 - Open Publisher Weblink

Haghighi Osgouei R, Soulsbv D, Bello F, 2018, An objective evaluation method for rehabilitation exergames, 2018 IEEE Games, Entertainment, Media Conference (GEM), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 28-34

Project Team