What is your signature innovation in one sentence?
Incorporating technology to support patient and family focused care and consumer driven health care decisions, concepts and methodologies that will transform the future of health care.
Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?
Our innovation involves the integration of several concepts and methodologies:
• Focus on early post-op rehab processes and the impact can be extended beyond TKR or THR to not only other Orthopaedic procedures but also to all of early post-op patients (i.e. s/p heart surgery, vascular surgery etc....) along with many areas of acute post-op rehabilitation.
• Video games and exercise equipment which adapts to individual’s range of motion and fitness level.
• New techniques such as MIS and less invasive approaches and new technologies and most importantly, the new requirements by patients (i.e. consumer driven care), it is important to bring everything together to achieve the goals of both patients and care givers.
Our primary goal is to avert the attention of the user from the work involved in the physical activity by the interaction of playing the game. Although there are games and gaming systems currently available on the market today, our innovation has features and capabilities that make it unique. These features and capabilities are:
• Track, analyze, save and print user performance using memory card technology so the user can bring results with them to a doctor visit.
• Software adjusts to the level of fitness and/or range of motion allowing the user to exercise from start to end, along with fitness maintenance, without having to buy additional software.
• Motivate user with built in encouragement in the form of inspirational messages.
• Display visual goals and milestones that the user has pre-defined. In a physical therapy or rehabilitation setting this can be pre-defined by the therapist.
What barriers exist that are creating the problem your innovation is hoping to address/change?
In terms of barriers/questions that exist from an implementation standpoint are more directly related to:
• Increased user responsibility/involvement – training individuals to play a more active role in their physical well being and future health.
• Acceptance from the health care community that video games are an effective tool for physical therapy, rehabilitation and exercise.
• Cost – both for continued development and future enhancements.
Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing.
The idea of having an individual more involved in their health and well being is a concept that is quickly gaining acceptance. This is clearly evident with Consumer Driven Health Care, and our innovation is very similar; the only difference, and it’s a big one, is that along with more involvement, our innovation makes it fun for the individual. The point that our innovation integrates the user and the caregiver, which can be a primary care physician, physical therapist or specialist, will need to be at the forefront of all implementation efforts. This innovation will ultimately provide the user with more involvement in their health and well being.
The Innovation Center will leverage its partnership with Blue Belt Technologies (www.bluebelttech.com), which also has a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, to capitalize on Blue Belt’s extensive experience with surgical navigation technologies, including both active and passive optical tracking technologies, which will capture and provide data as patients move through the rehabilitation protocols. This data will be used as input for all the games being developed. The in-depth precision tracking knowledge gained through Blue Belt’s work with surgical navigation will allow this innovation to reach patients with even the most limited mobility, which is not served by existing products.
The cost for continued development and implementation will be addressed by securing grants that will allow for more resources and quicker introduction to the market. Our goal is to introduce this innovation to the marketplace as quickly as possible but in following with the PFCC methodology; this will not be at the expense of quality and effectiveness.
In terms of gaining acceptance from the health care community that video games are an effective tool for physical therapy, rehabilitation and exercise, this will be accomplished by demonstrating results through data and feedback. The intention is to provide information, from our test environment(s), that will illustrate patient satisfaction along with involvement in the process by the patient.
How do you plan to scale your innovation?
The Innovation Center is fortunate to have several partnerships and entities available to use as resources. The idea is to work with these partners, one of which is Blue Belt Technologies, to develop software along with game graphics, that would allow for appropriate intensity based on the patient’s needs along with software to effectively track progress.
Blue Belt’s extensive experience with surgical navigation technologies, including both active and passive optical tracking technologies, will be used to measure patient’s motion in the initial stages of this innovation. These technologies have proven very effective; however the cost and physical size of these technologies may prove prohibitive in the long term and may be difficult to adopt for smaller practices. By securing grants, smaller, more portable, more wearable sensor technology could be used to track patient’s motion. This also opens up the opportunity for telemetry that could be sent home with patients as they continue their rehabilitation from home, and remotely transmitted to physical therapists to monitor patient progress, thereby increasing adherence to rehabilitation protocols and improving patient outcomes.
Initial plans are to implement the game in the gym of Orthopaedic Unit at Magee Womens Hospital and then system wide to the other 18 hospitals and various outpatient rehabilitation facilities. In parallel with the system wide implementation, we will also work to develop a strategy to introduce the innovation to the market.