Description

TheraWii is a new software application that gives Physical Therapy clinicians and researchers the ability to use commodity motion capture devices to gather quantitative data about patient movement and create customized interactions. Specifically, TheraWii was written to allow easy access to high-resolution data from Wii™ Remote and Balance Board input devices by connecting them to a computer equipped with Bluetooth®. Simple game-like interactions give the patient visual feedback and provide the therapist a means of encouraging specific patient motions. This game-like interface is configurable by the therapist through the TheraWii GUI interface and is organized into a hierarchy of playable Therapies and sub-Tasks. Data is recorded to easily accessible comma-separated-value (CSV) files and is organized and viewable by patient Profile and Session. Simple charts of basic performance metrics are viewable to track progress.

Please see the Screenshots page and Downloads page for additional information.

TheraWii is open-source software released under the GNU General Public License Version 3 (GPLv3), and the copyright is retained by the original authors.

Motivation

There is an emerging trend toward using video games as a means of increasing patient engagement in physical therapy. This trend is primarily driven by the newest generation of consumer console systems which use motion based controls (Nintendo Wii). However, clinical research into the efficacy of these systems is hindered by the inability to automatically collect data from systems and software which were not intended for this purpose.

We have developed a new piece of software which gives researchers the ability to develop experiments and quantitatively assess the value of game-based therapy. The software is designed to record and display models of physical motion using the Wii Remote and Balance Board motion capturing interfaces as input.

Project

The TheraWii software was created as a Senior Design Project by Drexel University Computer Science students Tim Chagnon, Joe Kokinda, Andrew Meinert, and Don Naegely. Dr. Carole Tucker of Temple University's Physical Therapy Department served as the principal client and stakeholder. The project was advised by Dr. David Breen of the Drexel University Computer Science Department. Design and development took place from September 2008 to May 2009.