A User-Centered Virtual Reality Game System for Elders with Balance Problem
Balance problem is one of the leading causes of fall in elderly. Fall in elderly results in fracture, head trauma, death or other serious consequences. Virtual reality training is a novel and potentially useful rehabilitation method. In the virtual environment, elderly receive multimodal sensory feedback and engage in task-oriented activities safely. However, existed customized systems are often expensive and were not designed on the clinical needs of elderly or therapists. There has been limited research focusing on the user friendliness of VR balance training systems. The purpose of this study is to develop a user-friendly VR balance training system for elderly, christened VirReB system.
The hypothesis of this study is the usability of the VirGReb system based on the user-centered design will be significantly better than an off-the-shelf system. In the first year of this project, user needs were identified by focus groups and ethnography study. 30 therapists joined the focus group discussion. User needs were transformed into system requirements. Results showed that elders with stroke or cerebral impairments are most often received balance therapy. Therapists thought that conventional treatment are not fun and lack of variety. Wii it based VR therapy can be fun and provide various treatment in one system. However, levels of difficulty and the game content must fit elder’s ability and their life style. We designed three games and wish to provide better user experiences for elders and therapists.
KeywordsBalance Virtual reality User interface Rehabilitation
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