Take the Microsoft Kinect sensor for Xbox and combine it with software developed by health IT startup Rehabtics, and the result is a physical rehabilitation tool that can be used by patients at home — saving them trips to the clinic — while still giving them the instructional benefits of having a therapist in the room.
“Our systems help hospitals to improve their patient-care quality and extend their physical therapy service into each patient’s home while improving their bottom line,” said founder Xiaoxu “Sophie” Kang.
One of six graduates in the 2013 AccelerateBaltimore class and based out of the Emerging Technology Center‘s 33rd Street incubator, Rehabtics is getting ready to test its tele-medicine software in local, private clinics and bigger hospitals, Kang said. The system, which allows therapists to prescribe movements patients must perform, the number of repetitions to do and set up a “playlist” so that patients perform the motions in their proper order, will be ready for sale this summer, she said.
The startup so far has survived on $300,000 of venture funding. It employs four people full-time, including an artist who works on the graphics and the avatars for the Rehabtics system, which looks and feels like a video game.
Through the Kinect sensor, patients mimic the motions of an animated instructor on the screen. Next to that animated instructor is another animated figure — the patient — who moves only when the patient moves. Incorrect or incomplete movements on the part of the patient doing therapy are picked up by Rehabtics’ system, prompting the patient in therapy to redo the motion until they get it right.
Kang said the main goal is to allow clinics and hospitals to control their costs by giving therapists a way to interact with patients without requiring them to take a trip.
Watch Kang pitch Rehabtics at AccelerateBaltimore Demo Day 2013: