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Exergames measure patients’ fear of falling

12 December 2014 - 3:48pm

A team in Manchester has developed computer games to prevent falls in older people and provide patient data for clinicians.

Emma Stanmore, University of Manchester

Dr Emma Stanmore hopes to move the games from clinics and to test them in patients’ homes

The researchers, based at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS trust and the University of Manchester, developed the Exergames in collaboration with software developer MIRA Rehab.

They run on a MIRA platform and are played using a Microsoft Kinect sensor to monitor body movement.

Pennine Care NHS trust’s falls prevention team and its patients carried out tests. The aim was to increase compliance with prescribed exercises and reduce risks of older people falling at home or in the community.

Emma Stanmore, a nursing lecturer at the University of Manchester, said the team took a new approach. ‘The games sit on a platform that captures patient statistics and adherence data to measure pain, fatigue and fear of falling.'

Dr Stanmore said that so far the Exergames have been played in clinics, but she hoped to test them in patients’ homes under the clinical supervision of a physiotherapist.

‘We spoke to a lot of older people and physiotherapists before creating the games. It was really important that what we produced was easy to use and made keeping fit as fun as possible for the target audience,’ she said.

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