DEUHR wins UX Design Award
A team of students of Alta Scuola Politecnica introduces gamification in the treatment of post-stroke patients
A team of students from Alta Scuola Politecnica (ASP) has won the Spring 2023 UX Design Award in the New Talents category with the DEUHR project. The team members are Chiara Giovannini, Alessandro Celauro, Paolo Tasca, Chiara Noli (students of Biomedical Engineering), Fedele Cavaliere (Digital and Interaction Design), Riccardo Volpiano (Mechanical Engineering) from both Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino. The tutors were Prof. Paolo Perego and Prof. Mario Covarrubias.
The increase of life expectancy, together with a greater occurrence of many illnesses (such as stroke), has caused a huge demand for rehabilitation of chronically ill patients. In this context, therapists have a limited amount of time and resources available, thus impacting on the quality of care. On top of this, many dismissed patients tend to give up follow-up therapies as they may lose confidence in the process and feel unmotivated or abandoned.
The project Digital Exergame for Upper limb and Hand Rehabilitation (DEUHR) introduces exercise gamification and ICT technologies in post-stroke patient’s treatment, either at home or in a rehabilitation facility. An inertial measurement unit records the range of motion, execution speed and reaction time of daily exercises. Patients can access daily workouts, progress monitoring and clinician feedback via a digital app. With DEUHR, therapists can manage all therapy steps, from initial setup to daily monitoring and fine-tuning of the rehabilitation plan.
The gamification of the rehabilitation process can actively engage the patients because they can exploit rehabilitative exercises embedded inside the videogame. Furthermore, the rehabilitation process becomes less time consuming also for the therapist, who can customise the treatment and monitor multiple patients by simply checking the app.
Another significant feature is that DEUHR applications are modular in their design, facilitating the addition of multiple exercise routines to the same patient (even from different medical specialists) and introduce new exercises in the app.
In the future, DEUHR may be extended to other body parts and other types of illnesses, both physical and cognitive, aiming at building a more inclusive social environment by inducing a faster reintegration of patients into the society.
UX Design Awards is a global competition for excellent experiences, featuring products and concepts that provide meaningful solutions for real needs, effectively creating positive change. The project was first selected to compete among over 400 participants from 46 countries, and then voted by a jury consists of leading design and industry experts and by users worldwide who voted for their favourite project.