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"Tablet PC Based Web Applications in the Rehabilitation of stroke patients." M. U. Arshad. J. Levine. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2014. Download PDF (BibTeX) MSc Advanced Computer Science

This study investigated to what extent HTML5 and JavaScript could be used in the implementation of tablet/mobile based games which are platform independent, browser independent, and are engineered towards the rehabilitation of stroke victims. Firstly, project aims and minimum requirements were set. The methodological structure of this project, which was required to satisfy these aims and requirements was then outlined. Followed by this, a background study into video games and tablet PCs in the context of healthcare was carried out. From this study it was realised that the potential of tablet PCs and bespoke video game development within the healthcare system has yet to be fully realised.
Current methods of using video games within the healthcare system have been achieved through off-the-peg methods which may aid in rehabilitation, but only in a general manner. It was realised that there was a gap in research in regards to bespoke video games developed specifically for the rehabilitation of patients. Furthermore, it was discovered that the current usage of tablet PCs within the healthcare system was stagnant and the benefits of tablet PC-healthcare integration could yet be reaped. Through the aims and objectives set, this research worked towards bridging this gap between the usages of tablet PCs and bespoke video games in the healthcare system. Next, the capabilities and limitations of HTML5, JavaScript, and the Phaser game framework in regards to this project were highlighted. From this, it was concluded that theoretically the development languages and tools were adequate enough to achieve the outlined aims and objectives.
The next stage of this project was the design of the prototypes to be created. These designs were justified by the research carried out in the previous stage. This investigation was satisfied through the creation of four prototypes which acted as empirical evidence of how the aforementioned topics of interest were achieved. Two of the four prototypes were aimed at the stimulation of damaged cognitive abilities, more specifically visual and verbal memory. The other two prototypes were aimed at the stimulation of damaged physical abilities, more specifically, fine motor skills. The implementations were carried out successfully and could then be assessed in the evaluation stage. The evaluation stage consisted of user trials, the researcher's evaluation, and professional feedback. From the user trials it was determined that platform independence, and browser independence, had been achieved. Furthermore, it was also concluded that the prototypes created were playable, reasonably robust, and seem to those who are not experts in the field or stroke patients that it is plausible that they can be used in the rehabilitation of stroke patients. This however can only be verified through extensive user trials and expert feedback. The researcher's evaluation was used to gauge whether or not from the researcher's perspective, the prototypes created met the minimum requirements and adhered to the designs outlined in the design stage. It was realised that prototypes did fully adhere to the designs set out for them and the project had met its minimum requirements. From the professional feedback, it was realised that although the prototypes created could potentially improve cognitive and physical abilities through stimulation, these improvements may not necessarily translate directly to improvements in a stroke patient's everyday activities. The most important significant knowledge gained from the profession evaluation was that, although tablet PC based video games from the professional's perspective, could potentially be used in the rehabilitation of stroke victims, their design is critical in doing so.
The prototypes created have given the researcher a method to gauge the reaction of professionals in the field and stroke patients. From this, requirements elicitation can now be sought as the researcher now has working prototypes to gauge reactions.