Design and development
It has been proven that video games help in the practice of physical and cognitive exercises. SilverFit has been inspired by numerous studies on this subject to develop activities and exercises especially for the elderly, adapted to their needs and capabilities.
Principles of developing an exercise
- No material/object must be held by the patient to participate in the game. His attention is only focused on what is happening on the screen, which allows for better concentration.
- Possibility to adjust the exercises' difficulty to the physical and cognitive level of the patient. Everyone can participate and have fun.
- Simple visual representation and game graphics/themes tailored to the interests of older (vulnerable) adults.
- Positive and continuous feedback (both visual and auditory).
SilverFit exercises are developed based on the guidelines of the Royal Dutch Society for Physiotherapy (KNGF) and/or clinical practice.
Our steps in developing a new exercise are:
1) We start by collecting advice from therapists on specific movements, or defined body parts, that they want their patients to work on. We then imagine how a game might relate to it.
2) We make sure that these games are adapted to the interests and needs of older adults, especially for the theme of the game and the graphics. This is determined through conversations with end players who are facility residents/clients who already use our systems in a facility, and who are happy to be approached for this step.
3) Our in-house team of programmers and graphic designers develop a prototype, ie a first version of the game which will be used for testing.
4) Based on all feedback from therapists and 'tester' clients, we improve the games and add options and settings.
5) An exercise is finalized and ready to be integrated into our system when the clients do not want to stop playing it!
Each system is subject to an annual software update, ensuring that our tools are always functional and efficient. Software updates allow users (healthcare professionals and patients) to maintain enthusiasm for the system, thanks to new exercises offered, new functionalities, and interface improvements.
We offer our new customers extensive system training. All healthcare professionals wishing to integrate the solution into their therapy sessions or activities can participate and ask all the questions they wish during this session.
Also, after each software update, we can offer online training to explain the new possibilities and functionalities of the system and to answer any questions regarding its use.
Results and data analysis
Most of our systems offer (local) recording of patient activity results.
A study showed that the score of a balance game on the SilverFit 3D (“The Mole”) provides a valid representation of the patient's skills (De Deugd et al., 2010).
Nevertheless, we remain curious if we can also show client progress via commonly used (internationally) results in settings. A movement science student started the same balance game and collected and developed a set of settings based on scientific literature and clinical practice (Braams, 2014). The set of settings has been added to the game 'The mole'.
We are working on adding new results metrics specific to other exercises and using feedback from our user customers to meet their analysis needs.
CE marked medical device
All our software (except the SilverFit Alois) has the CE medical device class I marking according to the European standard 93/42/CEE.
A CE mark means that a product complies with all European safety, health and environmental directives. To address this, there are treatment plans, a patient tracking system, standardized tests, and the ability to view performance on video. In addition, we collaborate with various research institutions to validate certain aspects of the exercises.
Click here for an overview of all scientific literature relating to SilverFit and virtual therapy. Please note that most research are only available in English or Dutch.