Spark

Augmented Reality Physical Therapy

Spark — Augmented Reality Physical Therapy

Spark — Augmented Reality Physical Therapy

Spark is a simple and cost-effective platform in the field of telemedicine which helps physiotherapists engage with patients with musculoskeletal injuries, both in the office and at home. The user needs to install an intelligent, interactive wall-mounted projector which displays physical therapy exercises tailored for the patients. They, however, can give real-time feedback to the therapists about the level of pain during the exercises, allowing the system to create more effective routines.

Spark is a simple and cost-effective platform in the field of telemedicine which helps physiotherapists engage with patients with musculoskeletal injuries, both in the office and at home. The user needs to install an intelligent, interactive wall-mounted projector which displays physical therapy exercises tailored for the patients. They, however, can give real-time feedback to the therapists about the level of pain during the exercises, allowing the system to create more effective routines.

Concept Video — Shot by Alec Bonk. 

Promotional Advertising Campaign — Directed by Faten Almukhtar, Shot & Edited by myself 

Problem Space

Problem Space

Injuries are inevitable. Each year, 50% of people over the age of 18 develop a musculoskeletal injury lasting over 3 months. However, only 30% of patients that utilize physical therapy attend visits that their insurance company authorizes. 

Injuries are inevitable. Each year, 50% of people over the age of 18 develop a musculoskeletal injury lasting over 3 months. However, only 30% of patients that utilize physical therapy attend visits that their insurance company authorizes. 

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"I don't really miss running. I miss the ability to run. I think of hurt hips and shin splints and things that hurt me. I dream about pain free running." 

Lotti Zeiler, 21, Cross Country Runner

"I don't really miss running. I miss the ability to run. I think of hurt hips and shin splints and things that hurt me. I dream about pain free running." 

Lotti Zeiler, 21, Cross Country Runner

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"The rehabiliation process is intimidating and can't begin without authorization from insurance companies."

Ali Bassir, Physical Trainer, 27

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"Less than half of my patients actually do their prescribed exercises at home... Accountability is a huge issue.

Jenny, Physical Therapist, 45

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"We layout specific exercises on the copy machine and print them out for at home exercises." 

Denise Holloway, Physical Therapist

Physical therapy is inaccessible, inaffective, and expensive. Sometimes insurance only covers half of it, and other times appointments are missed and exercises not completed. Laying out a journey map helped us understand that a lot of the time at the physical therapists' clinic is spent learning the exercises vs practicing them. 

Physical therapy is inaccessible, inaffective, and expensive. Sometimes insurance only covers half of it, and other times appointments are missed and exercises not completed. Laying out a journey map helped us understand that a lot of the time at the physical therapists' clinic is spent learning the exercises vs practicing them. 

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How might we use space and time to motivate people to engage in a healthier lifestyle mentally and physically?

How might we use space and time to motivate people to engage in a healthier lifestyle mentally and physically?

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Introducing Spark

Introducing Spark

Spark is a new, insightful, and innovative approach to physical therapy and rehabilitation. Using a combination of two intelligent projectors and a 3D infrared sensor, Spark overlays interactive physical therapy exercises tailored to the user's injury, progress, & preferences in the patient's preferred environment.

Spark is a new, insightful, and innovative approach to physical therapy and rehabilitation. Using a combination of two intelligent projectors and a 3D infrared sensor, Spark overlays interactive physical therapy exercises tailored to the user's injury, progress, & preferences in the patient's preferred environment.
 

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Setting Up Spark

Once the Spark projector is paired with the Spark mobile app, Spark helps you scan the room and suggests mounting locations. Every home is different, and you can calibrate the brightness, color and focus of the projections to suit your environment. 

Setting Up Spark

Once the Spark projector is paired with the Spark mobile app, Spark helps you scan the room and suggests mounting locations. Every home is different, and you can calibrate the brightness, color and focus of the projections to suit your environment. 

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Therapist Hub

Instead of visiting the closest doctor near you and then being referred elsewhere injury specific, when you onboard, Spark recommendeds local therapists and allows you to book your appointments as well.

Therapist Hub

Instead of visiting the closest doctor near you and then being referred elsewhere injury specific, when you onboard, Spark recommendeds local therapists and allows you to book your appointments as well.

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Measuring Pain

We use the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), which is a scale from 0-10 because it's comprehensible and quick. Pre-workout assessment helps Spark cater the exercises specific to that day and the pain experienced in the moment. Post-workout assessment is done because pain is experienced differently by different people and it is important for the system to learn what the user thinks their pain level is in comparison to exercise completion and pain experience or improvement data captured during-workout.   

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"The essential part is adapting to their time and environment to deliver the best personal treatment for them. If you can break up the exercises in little increments throughout the day, I find they have motivation to get them done."

Denise Holloway, Physical Therapist 

"The essential part is adapting to their time and environment to deliver the best personal treatment for them. If you can break up the exercises in little increments throughout the day, I find they have motivation to get them done."

Denise Holloway, Physical Therapist 

Exercises

Objectives. A clear focus on three goals for improvement during your recovery.  

Daily Exercise Breakdowns. Bite-sized exercises for 15 or 20min at a time to complete at your own pace during the day. 

Choice of Intensity. Maintaining continuity is important for recovery, and on days when you're pain level is high, we want to give you the option of lowering your intensity and completing an easier workout. 

Exercises

Objectives. 

Daily Exercise Breakdowns.

Choice of Intensity.

Exercises

Objectives. 

Daily Exercise Breakdowns.

Choice of Intensity.

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During Workout

Exercise Follow & Correction. A personalized avatar that assists you through your exercises to achieve correct posture and provides real-time feedback on improvements by analysizing your movements. 

Emergency. The user can but the system also detects when something is wrong through motion detection and facial analysis and reaches out to 911, physical therapist or emergency contact depending on the immediacy to the situation.  

Audio Interaction. Apart from visual feedback and follow, Spark's VUI guides you through movements. 

During Workout

Exercise Follow & Correction.

Emergency. 

Audio Interaction. 

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Focusing On The Mind

Injury not only hinders your physical movement, but can also trigger or unmask mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and substance use or abuse. We introduced resonant breathing, and workouts focusd on your daily dose of happy chemicals as a new way to track progress and focus on overall wellbeing.

Focusing On The Mind

Injury not only hinders your physical movement, but can also trigger or unmask mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and substance use or abuse. We introduced resonant breathing, and workouts focusd on your daily dose of happy chemicals as a new way to track progress and focus on overall wellbeing.

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Understanding 3D Projection Mapping

We prototyped projector locations, understanding light and shadows, color intensity, and changes in environment due to environmental factos — during the night and day. 

Understanding 3D Projection Mapping

We designed many iterations of screens, alternating between each other, and testing paper as well as mid-fidelity prototypes with users. 

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Prototyping Beyond The Screen

This was the most fun, but also most challenging part of the project. Going from 2D to 3D, we worked with motion capture to record body movements, two projectors to project motion graphics on two surfaces and a combination of all to create a concept video. 

Prototyping Beyond The Screen

We designed many iterations of screens, alternating between each other, and testing paper as well as mid-fidelity prototypes with users. 

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BTS Prototyping Video.

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Takeaways

Takeaway

Though we won many accolades, a lot of the recovery specific design details got lost in creating a more holistic solution because we had a lot to do in very little time. From designing screens, to creating motion graphics, to understanding the services offered and to which user segment, to building an overall visual language, it would have helped our team to create a better organisational structure and guidelines to produce a more cohesive product. 

Words

Gonzalo Gelso UX/UI Design, Interaction Design, Product Strategy

James Simmons Research, Motion Graphics, Motion Capture, Product Strategy 

Hwanghah Jeong Research, UX/UI Design, Interaction Design, Video Editing

Zhoalin Cai Research, Industrial Design 

Me Research, UX/UI Design, Interaction Design, Storyboarding

Project UX Studio, 8 Weeks, Prof. BC Hwang

Awards Red Dot Communication Design Award 2017, UX Awards Winner 2017

Press Yanko Design, Gadgetify, Designnews, and PRNewswire.