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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 646347, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/646347
Research Article

Ghostman: Augmented Reality Application for Telerehabilitation and Remote Instruction of a Novel Motor Skill

1Human Interface Technology Laboratory Australia (HIT Lab AU), School of Engineering and ICT, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tas 7250, Australia
2Active Work Laboratory, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tas 7250, Australia
3School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tas 7250, Australia
4Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab), University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Received 28 January 2014; Revised 12 March 2014; Accepted 13 March 2014; Published 15 April 2014

Academic Editor: Alessandro De Mauro

Copyright © 2014 Winyu Chinthammit et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper describes a pilot study using a prototype telerehabilitation system (Ghostman). Ghostman is a visual augmentation system designed to allow a physical therapist and patient to inhabit each other’s viewpoint in an augmented real-world environment. This allows the therapist to deliver instruction remotely and observe performance of a motor skill through the patient’s point of view. In a pilot study, we investigated the efficacy of Ghostman by using it to teach participants to use chopsticks. Participants were randomized to a single training session, receiving either Ghostman or face-to-face instructions by the same skilled instructor. Learning was assessed by measuring retention of skills at 24-hour and 7-day post instruction. As hypothesised, there were no differences in reduction of error or time to completion between participants using Ghostman compared to those receiving face-to-face instruction. These initial results in a healthy population are promising and demonstrate the potential application of this technology to patients requiring learning or relearning of motor skills as may be required following a stroke or brain injury.