According to the most recent announcement out of the West Health Institute following the San Diego NGO’s recent transfer of power and rebranding, they have launched a new partnership with the Naval Medical Center of San Diego.

The goal of the partnership is to develop the Reflexion Rehabilitation Measurement Tool (RMT) which uses Microsoft Kinect to allow medical professional design customized rehabilitation programs for patients and remotely monitor patient adherence.

The Reflexion RMT is a prescribed software application for use with patients suffering from musculoskeletal disease, which costs the US $127 billion/year, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Reflexion utilizes the Microsoft Kinect and a Windows 7 PC to provide a combination of interactive feedback and educational materials in an attempt to improve patient adherence to prescribed therapy.

“Rehabilitation needs to happen continuously, not just when the therapist or doctor is watching, so we developed a tool to extend the expert guidance of physical therapists and make it more engaging and more effective for patients,” said Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, co-inventor of the technology and a visiting fellow with West Health Institute and clinical scholar with Scripps Translational Science Institute. “We’re very excited that our first collaboration is with San Diego’s Naval Medical Center to see how we can further develop this technology to help veterans and the military patient community in rehab. We are trying to bring the best platforms from consumer technology and use them for therapeutic, validated clinical tools that can lower the cost of health care.”

Initial clinical pilots will be run at the Naval Medical Center San Diego and will measure usability, adherence to therapy, and eventually clinical outcomes.

“Naval Medical Center San Diego has many wounded, ill and injured service members in need of musculoskeletal surgery and rehabilitation,” said Capt. Eric Hofmeister, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery Department at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. “In an ongoing effort to continue to meet the health care needs of our patients and their families, we pursue innovative technology that advances the medical field in order to deliver the best care available while becoming more efficient.”

Quality standards for physical therapy mandate patients meet face-to-face with patients to train them on their rehab exercises and routine. Appointments are typically followed up with paper reports to track whether or not patients are keeping up with their prescribed routine, but it has been very difficult to effectively track compliance.

By using the Kinect, rehab professionals can not only prescribe custom rehab routines to each patient, they can also accurately and thoroughly measure compliance with that routine.

“The biggest problem with physical therapy is patients not doing enough of it or not doing it properly,” said Spencer Hutchins, co-inventor and Reflexion Project Lead. “We are building a tool to help physical therapists measure progress in a fun way that could potentially help patients heal faster.”

Check out a video of the Reflexion platform in action below.