Building bridges for more intensive rehabilitation

By: Karen Stolk, Product Validation

“What movement is meant by elbow flexion?” “Can I also hang the balloons in a spot in the room myself?” “What does a client with an intellectual disability understand?” “How do I convince my colleagues of the importance of using HoloMoves?”

Various questions that come to me from the development team and from healthcare. As a product validation officer, I am the bridge between the development team and the healthcare staff. Taking Yamir (game designer) through the questions from healthcare, what challenge is behind the question and how can we best serve the healthcare provider with HoloMoves.

How can we make the game design so that it matches the motor learning goals of the players. From the other side, healthcare providers are asking questions about using HoloMoves. How can they best achieve motor learning goals using HoloMoves’ game design and what opportunities do they see for the future.

There are many overlapping pillars between game design and motor learning (see infographic). One example is that by rewarding desired exercise behavior, dopamine is released. Dopamine then stimulates neural plasticity, causing the desired exercise behavior to be exhibited more frequently. Also, rewarding facilitates competition, making players want to play more often. Multi sensory practice is another example.

By providing different sensory stimuli at the same time, the game is experienced more like the “real” world. In addition, two neurons are simultaneously activated by providing different sensory stimuli, these neurons form a new neural network. This new network allows for faster recovery and higher levels of performance.

We know that intensive rehabilitation, more practice times over the day, leads to better recovery in the longer term. Combining gamification and motor learning goals makes exercise fun and more frequent during the day without costing extra therapist hours. From my background as an exercise scientist, I oversee the bigger picture and can talk to different professionals to explain it.

In addition, my background as a physical therapist allows me to understand therapists well while struggling to implement an innovative product. At HoloMoves, I make sure that the applications match the motor learning goals as closely as possible by listening carefully and asking critical questions of the developers and caregivers, enabling more intensive rehabilitation.