By Bayle Emlein
A major reason that people fail to meet their physical therapy goals is that the exercises are so boring that very few people follow the prescribed number of reps and frequency using the proper alignment, which would build strength--instead of working carelessly and just wasting time or even adding problems. And how do you know you’re doing the exercises right without the PT right there checking on you? Try a Smart Glove.
Their RAPAEL Smart Glove was Neofect’s featured product at the 2017 San Francisco Digital Experience. Unlike most other products and services displayed, the technology developed by Neofect is directed at a narrow, niche market: people with significant manual dexterity challenges. That could be someone who has lost control of fingers as the result of a stroke or head injury or a child who is experiencing developmental delays. The Smart Glove is a lightweight plastic exoskeleton. It fits over a hand and uses very specific rehabilitative exercises–disguised as games–to train the user. Then you return the rented equipment and get on with your life. This stuff isn’t inexpensive, but the promise of needing it for only a limited time makes the cost more palatable. Feedback from the games, er, exercise app, monitors for therapeutic performance; the game-like nature of the exercises keeps users with limited attention, like children, engaged long enough to benefit.
While Neofect is focused on the rehabilitation market right now–their financial model is based on rental of products, assuming that the items will work themselves out of a job–the transfer to the gamer market is obvious and just waiting for developers.