Patients play video games in Ukrainian hospitals. What for?

В українських лікарнях пацієнти грають у відеоігри. Навіщо? В украинских больницах пациенты играют в видеоигры. Зачем?

Ukrainian doctors jointly with Raccoon.World startup are trying to figure out how games may recover the health of patients with hand injuries.

In 2017 Ukrainian startup Raccoon.World took part in TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco exhibition. It has brought its new development there – game controller for VR and video games Raccoon.Clip. A boy, who was unable to cope with computer mouse or gamepad due to hand problems, approached the stand. When controller of Ukrainian startup was attached to his hand, the boy managed to play video games for the first time in his life. “We will never forget happiness on his face, – Svitlana Malovana, CEO of Raccoon.World, said.

As reported by World Health Organization, 17,000,000 people around the world are currently suffering from cerebral paralysis, every year another 17 million of people have strokes, and more than 50 million of people lose of their hand functions in an accident.

Only 50 percent of them are provided with a full rehabilitation due to rehabilitation programs imperfection.

After that, the startup team decided to upgrade their device to create some rehabilitation product for people with disabilities. “We have conducted preliminary survey, have identified personal demands of those, who suffer from impaired hand motor skills, and initiated work in this direction,” – Ms. Malovana said.

Clip controller is only one of the components of the project. The “core” of the system is complex software for doctors that may collect statistics and choose treatment option based on computer games. Moreover, users may track their progress in a special application for iOS and Android.



Patients play video games in Ukrainian hospitals. What for?

The idea of the developers implies that controller, application, and software for hospitals shall continually exchange data via the “cloud” (remote server). Thus, the patient, who began his rehabilitation in hospital, will be able to continue it at home under constant remote supervision of a doctor.

Ukrainian startup found innovative application of video games controllers

It is expected that device will collect various types of data, inclusive of about speed of movement, hand position, wrist inclination angle. When data is processed, results and recommendations shall appear on the screen.

“Tanks” and “races” for treatment

Ordinary video games are suitable for training. There is no need to create some special content. Doctor will be able to choose the game type depending on muscle group that shall be trained and on personal preferences of the patient. Thus, Need for Speed racing simulator is suitable for wrist twisting training, while World of Tanks simulator game helps to master movements accuracy.

Three Ukrainian hospitals are currently testing solution developed by Raccoon.World. Doctors and developers are working together to test hypotheses and to improve the solution at this pilot phase.

Alexander Chernyavsky is one of QA Engineers. He is an expert in physical rehabilitation, therapeutic exercises, massage, and prostheses production at the Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. He believes that the first results of device approbation on patients are rather positive. “Rehabilitation process that is being performed in the form of games has always had positive impact on general well-being of the patient and on his motivation for recovery,” – Alexander Chernyavsky said. The patient is obsessed with the gaming process and he is focusing less attention on the sensation of pain in hand. Traditional rehabilitation exercises have no such effect. Controller is light in weight and one shall not keep it in hand. It is operated remotely and without wires.

Patient V., aged 19. Diagnosis – fractured elbow joint, which led to peripheric neurological disorders

200,000 for further development

According to Alexander Chernyavsky, solution shall monitor statistical data to deliver more effective outputs. “Digital data handling will enable us, as doctors, not just watching how the patient passing through game missions faster and better, but to make scientifically substantiated conclusions as well.” – explained he.

We will have this opportunity as soon as minimum viable product that is currently at the testing stage turns into released product. It is already collecting data about hand movement speed, hand position, and wrist inclination angle. However, so far, this data is being manually processed. “We process this data and provide it to the doctor in the form of analytics and graphs for the doctor to see the statistics,” – Ms. Svitlana Malovana said.

At this stage startup is gathering feedbacks from the doctors to understand what data and in what form they need it. Any doctor may file an application to launch “pilot” free of charge. Moreover, project team needs an investment of $200,000 to speed up research and certification.

The next stage is testing in the USA and EU countries. Svitlana Malovana is hopeful that finished product will go on sale in 2018. Following the certification product, it will be implemented in hospitals and rehabilitation centers as a comprehensive medical solution.