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Groundbreaking rehab system wins FDA approval

May 12, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Software manufacturer Jintronix, with U.S. headquarters in Seattle, announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its novel rehabilitation system, making it the first time the Microsoft Kinect has been approved for use by patients in a healthcare setting. The new system is expected to greatly improve physical therapy sessions for those recovering from stroke or those with physical disabilities.

According to a press release posted on Jintronix's website, the new system combines game development theory with common physical therapy exercises, providing motion tracking and visual feedback via Microsoft Kinect.

Meant to be used with traditional physical therapy, the Jintronix system offers users instantaneous feedback on their success or failure to perform therapeutic tasks. Additionally, clinicians are provided with quantitative performance data enabling them to track the patients and update exercises or parameters remotely as progress is made.

"The FDA clearance is an important step in the adoption of new Internet connected consumer technologies in healthcare," said Daniel Schacter, co-founder of Jintronix. "As consumers become more familiar with technologies such as motion capture and facial recognition, we think the opportunities for consumer-based technologies to change healthcare are enormous. Our solution for the Kinect is an important entrant—patients really enjoy playing the games on our system while clinicians are thrilled by the medical foundation of the activities. We want to see our system in the home of every patient who needs neurological or orthopaedic rehab." 

Bill Crounse, MD, Senior Director, Worldwide Health, Microsoft, also noted, "While the patient receives a more fulfilling and engaging experience during physical therapy that is easy to access and provides immediate feedback, clinicians are getting more information than they have ever had before—information that is transmitted via the cloud and informs therapists about the patient's day-to-day progress. The promise is for therapy that is more efficient, more personal, more convenient and can help lower the cost of care while improving outcomes. We believe that this clearance from the FDA is an important turning point for Kinect technology in physical therapy, and also a recognition that healthcare is on a clear path toward change."