The MIRA rehabilitation platform has helped improve a Down syndrome patient's attention and concentration and motivate her to keep performing exercises to improve her muscle tone, coordination and balance.
MIRA, the innovative medical software platform designed to facilitate physical therapy and make the recovery process more fun for patients, has proven useful in improving the therapy experience for a young patient with Down syndrome.
The case study patient, a 15-year-old girl, had low muscle tone before starting therapy and, as a result, she developed an asymmetry of the spine. When she started a physical therapy program in 2012, she was also overweight and had difficulty in communication. These are some of the most common problems associated with Down syndrome, which affect 1 in every 800 children globally. Other symptoms include neurological delays, excessive joint flexibility and, in 40 to 50% of the cases, congenital heart defects. Children born with the syndrome must start a physical therapy program as early as possible to ensure a degree of independence later in life. Kinetic physiotherapy programs are also a critical part of the process to address the disabilities associated with the condition.
In the case study, the regular therapy program focused on the patient’s muscular weakness, coordination, balance and spine asymmetry. After each session, she played interactive games with MIRA for 10 minutes in order to improve her balance, coordination and attention deficit. The platform, which uses Kinect technology to ensure the proper execution of movements and to identify compensatory movements, was used for left/right balance exercises, challenging the patient to shift the centre of gravity from one leg to another by bending the torso. Over the course of the supplemental program with MIRA, the patient started showing a more open attitude toward performing balance exercises, such as those using a balance board, which she was afraid to try before.
After two months of using MIRA, the child showed a noticeable improvement in focus and attention, and was more motivated during entire therapy sessions as a result of her desire to play the games at the end. She thought of the sessions as games and, because her focus was on the game characters, she would perform various movements slightly incorrectly. However, as the games allow for a small degree of error to motivate users to keep interacting with them, the patient still scored points for her efforts. Ultimately, her concentration and motivation improved, which also allowed her to benefit from various balance exercises that challenged her to use both arms while performing torso movements.