Table of Contents
Journal of Medical Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 9413642, 8 pages
Research Article

A Kinect-Based Physiotherapy and Assessment Platform for Parkinson’s Disease Patients

1Department of Informatics Engineering, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Heraklion, 71410 Crete, Greece
2Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), Vassilika Vouton, Heraklion, 70013 Crete, Greece

Received 31 March 2016; Revised 26 June 2016; Accepted 10 July 2016

Academic Editor: Prescott B. Chase

Copyright © 2016 Ioannis Pachoulakis 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.


We report on a Kinect-based, augmented reality, real-time physiotherapy platform tailored to Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. The platform employs a Kinect sensor to extract real-time 3D skeletal data (joint information) from a patient facing the sensor (at 30 frames per second). In addition, a small collection of exercises practiced in traditional physiotherapy for PD patients has been implemented in the Unity 3D game engine. Each exercise employs linear or circular movement patterns and poses very light-weight processing demands on real-time computations. During an exercise, trainer instruction demonstrates correct execution and Kinect-provided 3D joint data are fed to the game engine and compared to exercise-specific control routines to assess proper posture and body control in real time. When an exercise is complete, performance metrics appropriate for that exercise are computed and displayed on screen to enable the attending physiotherapist to fine-tune the exercise to the abilities/needs of an individual patient as well as to provide performance feedback to the patient. The platform can operate in a physiotherapist’s office and, following appropriate validation, in a home environment. Finally, exercises can be parameterized meaningfully, depending on the intended purpose (motor assessment versus plain exercise at home).