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Neuro Muscular
VR Training 

In-home customized physiotherapy 

Overview
Role

Experience strategy, Interaction Design, Visual Design, 

Duration
Device

6 Weeks

HTC Vive

Tools
Team
Important POCs

Illustrator
Sketch up
Go Pro
VR Mock testing 
User Testing

Product Managers

3D Animators 

3D Developers 

Physiotherapists (Client's side)

Psycologists (Client's side)

Marketing 

Legal

I joined this project when an important client from Health domain connected with the Extended reality team with a need for physiotherapy  solution that is cheaper compare to the current process. The expectation from me was to create an end to end experience for patients by tackling a larger problem using the finest technology available

CONTEXT

A solution for physiotherapy patients that is cost-effective, user-friendly, encouraging, and enjoyable to use while also assisting users in recovering quickly.

WHERE TO FOCUS 
#1 Identify a user group.
  • I started with research to identify the user group and focus area for the first draft before doing anything else.

  • After multiple design thinking sessions and discussions with clients and other stakeholders considering the research findings, we prioritized stroke afflicted individuals since the challenges would be more challenging to overcome than other physical concerns. 

THE PROBLEM

Physiotherapies are expensive and tiring for many stroke-affected patients. Due to demotivation and boredom, there is a 70 %  non-compliance from the patient's side in performing the prescribed exercise or visiting the doctor regularly.

It's a challenge, especially considering we're dealing about stroke survivors.

BACKGROUND

795,000 +

Every year 

People in the United States have strokes. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes.

From the Cdc

  • 41% of patients looking for a drug-free pain relief option, found physical therapy to be the most effective alternative treatment.

  • Stroke-related costs in the United States came to nearly $53 billion between 2017 and 2018. This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat stroke, and missed days of work.

  • Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and older.

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Start of Story

Uncovering & Solving the Painpoints
  • Patients pay  $50 - $ 350 per session.
  • 70 % Non-compliance.
  • Exercises not interesting enough

  • How to do therapy without a Physiotherapist?

  • Boredom and lack of motivation make following the routine challenging

  • Fun Social Activity Anyone?

  • Lack of motivation due to age & other emotional factors.

#1 Identifying the best platform to build this solution on
Augmented Reality
AR
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Strength
  • Low cost
  • less affected by device limitations
  • Access exp. from anywhere
Weekness
  • Lesser immersion
  • No way to measure the user's performance during the workout.
  • Some mobile device s don't support heavy apps
  • Users might lose interest to perform any workouts. 
Mixed Reality
MR
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Strength
  • MR stands out are its highly interactive aspect and the realistic rendering of the projection. Instead of depending solely on remote controllers or phone screens, we can interact with the immersive content using natural body and finger gestures.
Weekness
  • Heavy & Costly headgear.
  • Time to get used to interactions for identified user groups 
  • The UI can get merged with the environment lighting for the identified age group. 
  • Less immersive than VR.
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Strength
  • Fully immersive.
  • Can measure how the user is performing through the remote controller and sensors.
  • Can create immersiveness using audio, sight, and touch senses.
  • It is able to demonstrate the non-visible data to the user like in the case of geochemistry.
  • Diverse experience 
Weekness
  • A few VR headsets are costly.
  • Accidents of people hurting themselves. For example, walking into a wall.
Virtual Reality
VR

Cost, Tracking performance, Surprises

Why VR for this solution
  •  VR could be the best option since providing solutions on any other easily available platform will not track if the user has done the exercises correctly or not. The best device that can track user movement is HTC Vive. 

  • MR and AR were not solving the purpose of motivation and immersive experience  due to the interference of real world 

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AREAS
UX+VR
  • Maintenance of high frame-rate
  • Physiological comfort
  • Psychological comfort
  • Environmental Comfort
  • Ergonomics
  • Interactions
Business
  • Identifying proper business points that can help both the users and the service providers at the same time and bring more business.
SOLUTION
Illusion and Tricking brain 

Mirror Therapy  In VR

Device Constraints
  • HTC Vive and understanding the device’s capability and bringing the best out of it.
A mirror is used to create a reflective illusion of the affected limb in order to trick the brain into thinking movement has occurred without pain, or to create positive visual feedback of a limb movement. It involves placing the affected limb behind a mirror. The mirror is positioned so the reflection of the opposing limb appears in place of the hidden limb.
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Challenges
  • To be self-dependent.
  • High Expense on Physiotherapy treatments.
  • Hospital environments are frustrating.
  • Boredom & Lack of motivation.
  • Repeated Doctor Appointments.
  • Physiotherapy is painful.
Use a normal arm and a mirror to trick the brain into believing that the affected arm can perform normal movements
Traditional Mirror Therapy
VR Mirror Therapy
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Opportunities
  • Self-dependent.
  • Less expense on physiotherapy.
  • Exercise at home.
  • Brain bending & motivating.
  • Customized
  • Engaging
Follow / Mirror movements in normal hand
Engagement & Fun
Gamification and Mirror Therapy
Virtual Reality Headset
Game planning
Part 1 - Headset Ergonomics
  • We recommended tying the straps fairly tight.
  • Ask the user if the image is blurry, 90% of the time this can be fixed by wiggling the headset up and down a little.
  • Remind users that they can move around there.
  • some new users will lean out dangerously far to grab things rather than walk or collide with the wall.
Part 2 - Controllers
  • We only enabled the menu button and the trackpad for the game.
  • Overridden haptic feedback.
Execution and UI panels

How NEURO TRAINING works

Neuromuscular VR training focuses on helping the users to finish their sessions by adding fun to them. At each level, we have a game that introduced a different types of  considering the user's physical capability and the workouts planned by the physiotherapist.
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PART ONE
Intro to Basket & Ball Game
  • The user will pick up the ball as mentioned in the instructions. 
  • Based on the user's capability and condition the physiotherapist suggests the type of workout they need to do and we gamify it for them.
  • A tracking system using the sensors and remote calibration to identify if the patient /user performed the workout with accuracy.
Standard View
Split View
PART TWO
Instruction at every step 
  • Animated guide for users.
  • The background can be changed based on various factors. The user doesn't have to stick with one. Nature also plays a good role in healing.
  • Timer for each task to measure the user's accuracy and speed in performing them.
Standard View
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Split View
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PART THREE
Avatar and audio instructions
  • Sometimes an empty VR environment with no living things can get boring for our personas. 
  • A physiotherapist avatar instructs and guides the users just like a real physiotherapist. 
PART FOUR
Timer & Progress Report
  • A report is displayed at the end of the session to let the user know how they performed which includes the time taken to finish, speed & accuracy in percentage.
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Game Plan
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Low-Fi Draft  Models 
Avatar first draft - This is a free asset from Unity with minor changes not the final Avatar
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Environment Testing Draft
This was done to test the lights, park dimensions, table height, ball placement, etc. This is a test model to rectify any UX error before the final product is built and also help the client to visualize or experience the same.
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Asset placement testing draft
This is done to finalize the placement after testing it in VR to go ahead with creating the final assets 
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TESTING
User Testing
  • The solution was tested among the user group under the supervision of a physiotherapist where the solution was approved by professional medical specialists for us to continue with the testing on actual patients.
AFTER TESTING
Result
  • We achieved over 80% success, and 7/10 of users were able to complete the assignment without difficulty or confusion.
  • As expected, a few users experienced issues with their eyesight, which were not rectified due to the device's present capabilities.
  • Some elders initially expressed concern (after seeing the headset, sensors, and wires) and shyness about wearing the headgear, but they were able to complete most of the tasks effectively.
  • This idea was awarded first place in the " Disruptive Business Award category."
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PLAN AHEAD
Future Scope 
  • The solution was planned for all kinds of Physiotherapy patients. 
  • The idea is to mix Robotics and Virtual reality for the same that can help them perform many other workouts without getting hurt while they wear the headgear.
Other Projects
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