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GoodLife Technology rehabilitates gaming

GoodLife seeks to motivate patients to comply with their rehabilitation programmes.Credits: : Goodlife Technology

What can Finnish game developers do besides develop games? Quite a lot, actually.

In 2013, a healthcare provider and regional development company in Eastern Finland teamed up with the company Nitro Games. The idea was to see whether games technology could be utilised in healthcare.

“The outcome was a Microsoft Kinect-based rehabilitation solution for stroke patients called The Glider,” says Henrik Jürgens, CEO of GoodLife Technology. “The conclusion was that the technology and concept worked well, but mainly due to a lack of scalability there were no business opportunities back then.”

There are plenty of business opportunities now, though. GoodLife spun off from Nitro and began showcasing The Glider, where patients repeated certain movements to make rehabilitation seem less of a burden and more fun. The physiotherapy software developer PhysioTools was impressed enough to ask GoodLife for a new solution.

The resulting PT Momentum app is already in use in 130 countries.

Better care, lower costs

The future is now looking rosy for GoodLife, having identified a clear need for new consumer-centric solutions which help and motivate patients to comply with their rehabilitation programmes.

“While the quality of care and efficacy are always driving the domain, it doesn’t hurt that we have also been able to reduce customer costs and optimise their resource allocations,” Jürgens says.

A key revelation the company learned early on was that standalone products will only solve minor parts of a problem and don’t bring in the expected value over the long term. Instead, new digital solutions need to be interoperable with current processes and tools.

Jürgens points out that their solutions work seamlessly with patient identification, PhysioTools exercise programmes and video-based virtual care solutions, for example.

“Our primary target audience are physical rehabilitation providers like hospitals and clinics,” he continues. “Currently our main customers are from Finland. We believe we need to have solid references and results from our home market to scale our business abroad.”

Into Europe’s newest rehab hospital

GoodLife Technology has been extensively networking, being one of the first five Finnish companies to join the global StartUp Health programme as well as the EU Horizon 2020 project Activage, a major pilot on smart living environments.

This hard work has paid off and they caught the eye of authorities at a new high-tech healthcare project. GoodLife is now working on a state-of-the-art solution for the city of Espoo, Finland.

“Currently we are developing a motion sensor-based rehabilitation solution which will be used in the most modern new rehabilitation hospital in Europe later this year,” says Jürgens. “The aim is to help Espoo’s new hospital to raise the activity time of their patients up to six hours per day.

“Patients needing rehabilitation can carry out their personal exercise programmes with the help of our rehabilitation kiosk whenever it is most suitable for them, even when the therapist is not personally present.”

By: David J. Cord