“Adherence to traditional physiotherapy approaches is painfully low, and boring routines often demotivate patients and fail to improve patient health as intended, ” says Dudi Klein, founder and CEO of BioGaming, one of several Israeli companies using virtual-reality gaming and robotics technology to introduce fun into physical therapy exercises.

“For all of the digital and mobile innovations in the healthcare space, physiotherapy has been a bit left out, ” he adds. “If telemedicine is enabling more cost-effective, convenient and connected healthcare, then BioGaming is the equivalent for rehab. Our platform takes it a step further by making therapy into a game to be won.”

In November, the Tel Aviv-based BioGaming introduced two industry firsts to physiotherapists in the United Kingdom, Europe and Israel: the BioGaming at-home rehabilitation system and companion iOS and Android applications to facilitate communication with patients.

The BioGaming home platform uses patented motion-detection algorithms to power a Microsoft Kinect 3D motion-capture camera. The camera can be connected to Microsoft Windows for computers or paired with a provided Xbox One for use with a television.

Physiotherapists can rent BioGaming systems on a month-to-month basis. The app allows them to can create personalized routines for patients and upload them to the cloud for the patient. All the captured data from the Kinect camera during the sessions is transmitted back to the cloud, so physiotherapists and patients can track progress automatically.

“We’re taking the proven physiotherapy routines, real-time biofeedback and personal encouragement of sessions in the hospital or clinic and bringing it home, ” says Klein.

BioGaming’s patent-pending solution for creating and delivering gamified exercise routines earned the company the Innovation Award at Medica, the world’s largest medical trade fair, in 2014. BioGaming is now awaiting FDA approval in the United States.


More PT fun-makers

Other Israeli companies are also putting high-tech fun and convenience into physiotherapy.

Motorika Medical, founded in 2004, makes and markets robotic systems for physical therapy, one for neurological and the other for orthopedic rehab.

The ReoGo three-dimensional robotic system for upper-limb therapy facilitates repetitive arm movements through the use of a motorized robotic arm. The neuromuscular retraining device, primarily for patients in stroke recovery, enhances motivation through interactive games that imitate natural hand movements. The system has been clinically proved to improve recovery and treatment outcome by providing up to 10 times more repetitions per session than an average non-robotic treatment.