Startup Uses Kinect to Bring Physical Therapy Home

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While pursuing an MBA at MIT in 2010, Tim Fu tore his ACL, an incident that led to surgery and six months of physical therapy.

“It was a really tough process, especially at home, without the coaching of a physical therapist,” Fu recalled to Mashable. From his frustration, the idea for a business was born.

Home Team Therapy, which launched in private beta this week, is using online video and video games to help physical therapists guide patients through their exercises at home.

“The videos are detailed, but have a conversational tone,” Fu explains. “Our Kinect application will actually track patients doing their exercises and will use subtle clues to guide patients in the right direction — think Dance Central for physical therapy.” The Kinect application is being developed for Windows, so all users will need is a PC and a Kinect sensor, the latter of which Home Team will provide.

The Home Team platform also allows patients to track progress and communicate with therapists between appointments, Fu says. You can see the program in action in the promotional video below:

Fu says he wants therapists and doctors to be able to use Home Team’s tools for free. Patients can opt into the tools for a monthly subscription of about $20 — costs a physical therapist could presumably add on to his or her own standard fee.

Fu’s two co-founders are Dr. Anil Ranawat, an orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Ben Gelfand, a physical therapist, both of whom he worked with when he tore his ACL. The Boston-based startup employs a three-person team of developers and designers and is entirely self-funded. Its product was showcased at SXSW’s Interactive Accelerator in Austin this year and plans to launch its services publicly this summer.

Image via Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images.

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