A physiotherapy-inspired computer gaming project for people with cystic fibrosis was chosen out of about 200 entries as the winner of the AbilityNet Tech4Good digital health award.
Eleanor Main (second left) and Haiyan Zhang (far right), with other winners, at the BT Centre for the AbilityNet Tech4Good awards
The idea behind the Fizzyo project is simple: to make physiotherapy breathing exercises fun – and encourage people to do them. It puts a wireless sensor into the mouthpiece of a conventional airway clearance device. As the user exhales, the sensor sends electronic signals that control computer games.
University College London’s physiotherapy department and Microsoft are the chief players behind the project.
Eleanor Main, professor and physiotherapy course director at University College was at the AbilityNet event in London on 11 July to receive the award. She was joined by Haiyan Zhang, innovation director at Microsoft Research.
‘What pleased me most about the award was that it was an independent affirmation of the value of the work we are doing and that we are all completely passionate about,’ said Professor Main.
‘And after the award, there was an incredibly lively response on Twitter. Many tweets were from people with cystic fibrosis saying this was fantastic news and thank you for this work.
‘It just feels like we are having the kind of momentum that we need to make this project a real success. We’re excited.’
AbilityNet is a charity that works to change the lives of disabled people by helping them to use digital technology at work, at home or in education. Its Tech4Good Awards recognise services to technology innovation.
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