Physical Therapy is boring – play a game instead.
Exercise compliance is a real issue in the healthcare sector. “Physical Therapy is boring – play a game instead“, is the title of a Ted talk I recently came across. Its speaker, Cosmin Mihaiu is the CEO and co-founder of MIRA Rehab. MIRA Rehab develops software platforms which tries to make rehab exercise prescription more fun for the individual.
Throughout the Ted talk, Mr. Mihaiu explains that he and his mother had previous injuries. They were both prescribed exercises which they deemed boring so they stopped doing them and hence recovery was prolonged. This probably resonates with a lot of people out there.
With a reported 70% non compliance of exercise prescription, anything that helps motivate people to exercise is a good thing. This may particularly catch the imagination of paediatric or bed bound patients. This approach seems to be an extension of the Nintendo Wii Fit, which also tries to make exercise fun. I know my own kids love the Wii fit on the rare occasions that they get to play it! All the same I would much prefer to see them climbing trees or running around outside using their imaginations to stimulate their mind and body.
Do we want to add more screen time to our lives? With smart phones a near essential for most people and box sets being readily available through netflixs, more screen time in our lives may be a bad option.
Mr. Mihaiu rightly points out that rehab compliance is a real issue for patients. Developing an interactive game which helps stimulate (although how stimulating?) the mind while performing your rehab seems noble. The fact that there is a market for this software platform indicates to me that a lot of therapists are not doing their job. If PT’s were more contentious in motivating patients and ensuring patients were happy performing their exercises, lack of compliance would be less of an issue.