Lilian de Greef

Microsoft Surface for Stroke Rehabilitation

Cati Boulanger, Adam Boulanger, Lilian de Greef, Andy Kearney, Kiley Sobel, Russell Transue, Z Sweedyk, Paul H. Dietz, Steven Bathiche


This project presents a new sensing and interaction environment for post-stroke and upper extremity limb rehabilitation. The device is a combination of camera- based multitouch sensing and a supporting therapeutic software application that advances the treatment, provides feedback, and records a user’s progress. The image-based analysis of hand position provided by a Microsoft Surface is used as an input into a tabletop game environment. Tailored image analysis algorithms assess rehabilitative hand movements. Visual feedback is provided in a game context. Experiments were conducted in a sub-acute rehabilitation center. Preliminary user studies with a stroke- afflicted population determined essential design criteria. Hand and wrist sensing, as well as the goals of the supporting game environment, engage therapeutic flexion and extension as defined by consulted physicians. Participants valued personalization of the activity, novelty, reward and the ability to work at their own pace in an otherwise repetitive therapeutic task. A “character” – game element personifying the participant’s movement – was uniquely motivating relative to the media available in the typical therapeutic routine.