Games in Healthcare

SilverFit System Works to Improve Seniors’ Health

A Senior Using the SilverFit SystemA new game system specifically targeted toward adults over the age of 65 will be hitting the market this January. The SilverFit unit, developed in collaboration with Softkinetic is designed to specifically include a broad range of exercises that are recommended for physical therapy after a stroke or an accident, as well as games that provide general fitness benefits. The system is powered by Softkinetic’s intuitive 3D gesture recognition technology and supports all 3D cameras on the market.

“Most fitness videogames are developed for the younger generation, typically on video game consoles like the Wii, but for seniors these games are too busy or too aggressive,” said Joris Wiersinga, co-founder of Netherlands-based SilverFit, in a news release. Read More...

“In our games the player can pick virtual pieces of a puzzle at their own pace simply by standing up from their chair or leaning to the sides. By using Softkinetic’s 3D gesture technology players do not need to hold anything or know anything about computers. They simply play the games by moving in front of the camera,” Wiersinga added.

Some units are already being installed in retirement homes and care centres across the Netherlands and will eventually expand to the rest of Europe and North America. The system is set to become widely available for purchase by health professionals and specialized fitness centres in January 2009.

The first installation of SilverFit systems at the Groenhuysen care centre in the Netherlands was successful. On top of its intended health purpose the system also produced an enjoyable social atmosphere as well as creating a bit of friendly competition.

“Gaming specifically for the aging population is a growing industry,” said Michel Tombroff, CEO of Belgium’s Softkinetic, in the same release. “SilverFit is another exciting exergaming venture for us and we are proud to be involved in a project which can improve the lives of senior citizens.”