PhD student's success at national awards

Congratulations to UTS PhD student Jaime Garcia for his recent win at the 2015 Health Informatics Society of Australia Awards. Jaime won the Branko Cesnik Award for the best scientific student paper, 'Step Kinnection: A fall prevention game mindfully designed for the Elderly'.

The winning paper describes the design considerations of Step Kinnection, an interactive game using Microsoft Kinect to prevent falls for elderly people.

Elderly step up to avert falls

One in three Australians aged over 65 will have a fall this year. For an elderly person, as bones become brittle and balance less sure, a fall can cause such deterioration in their health that they may not recover.

While turning back the clock is not an option, researchers have turned to young people’s gaming technology to help older people stay on their feet and remain fit and well.

Microsoft Windows 10 - Ignite Your Passion: UTS

"Dr Jaime Garcia is a Software Engineer in Columbia who is interested in promoting the use of interactive video games (StepKinnection) to reduce the risk of falling in the elderly community.

His inspiration came from his grandmother, who had a really bad fall and fractured her arm. His family wanted to make sure she got the exercise she needed, even though she couldn't leave the house.

Having Windows 10 on Microsoft's Surface Pro, gives Dr Garcia the ability to refine his game, on a powerful mobile device."

How a video game is preventing falls in seniors

1 in 3 Australians over 65 will experience a fall this year, in fact, falls remain a leading cause of serious injury and death in this age group. This week’s episode of Think:Health looks at a new interactive game called “Step Kinnection” developed by the University of Technology’s Faculty of Engineering. Nic talks to producer Jake Morcom about this fun new innovation to help older Australians stay fit and on their feet.

Last Island: Exploring Transitions to Sustainable Futures through Play

A serious game was designed and developed with the goal of exploring potential sustainable futures and the transitions towards them. This computer-assisted board game, Last Island, which incorporates a system dynamics model into a board game's core mechanics, attempts to impart knowledge and understanding on sustainability and how an isolated society may transition to various futures to a non-expert community of players.

Assessing the Validity of In-Game Stepping Performance Data from a Kinect-based Fall Prevention Exergame

One of the main limitations of commercial games is the inability to determine improvements in the mental and physical health of the players. Although high game scores might provide an indication of higher cognitive and physical abilities, these are not sufficient to reliably determine the improvement in health outcomes. The work presented in this paper hence focuses on determining whether the collection of clinical measures during gameplay could potentially be used as a reliable indicator of improvement.

Combining Skeletal Tracking and Virtual Reality for Game-based Fall Prevention Training for the Elderly

This paper provides a preliminary appraisal of combining commercial skeletal tracking and virtual reality technologies for the purposes of innovative gameplay interfaces in fall prevention exergames for the elderly. This work uses the previously published StepKinnection game, which used skeletal tracking with a flat screen monitor, as a primary point of comparison for the proposed combination of these interaction modalities.
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