As most health care practitioners know, getting a patient to follow directions is often the hardest task, especially when you are working with such age groups as the elderly and children. An innovative developer of respiratory therapy systems decided to make use of video game theory to help ensure that patients get the treatment they need. Their solution is the latest winner of the Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award, a service grant given to innovative companies by quick-turn manufacturer Proto Labs, Inc.
The system Compliant Games developed has a patient watch and follow along with a video game exercise on an iPad or other smart tablet. When prompted, the patient breathes through an air tube that wirelessly interacts with the game. Active, in-game feedback reinforces correct technique for the patient.
The Compliant Games respiratory therapy system is built around four components: AirLane, a hardware adapter that works with the patient’s respiratory device (air tube), the DragonKeeper video game that interacts with the patient, ClinicBox cloud-based data storage and analytics, and the AirRN mobile app for clinicians and caregivers.
“This system improves adherence to respiratory therapies by patients who are at-risk of pulmonary complications such as pneumonia,” said the developers. It transforms common respiratory therapy tools into low-cost telemetry (wireless transmission and monitoring) instruments for doctors and their patients.
“This product will deliver a crucial service to clinicians and will help patients,” said Proto Labs founder Larry Lukis. “The gaming system provides a ‘fun component’ that motivates patients to effectively do their required pulmonary exercises. And, what I really like about it: The therapy tool reaches both young patients and seniors.”
Shane Luttrell, founder of Memphis-based Compliant Games, said developers are using the Cool Idea! Award manufacturing grant for various custom prototype parts such as injection-molded airway tubes and other components. “Injection molded parts are actually a very big deal for us,” Luttrell said, “because parts that are molded from conventional compliant resins using injection molding “are more likely to meet regulatory requirements of institutional review boards than other prototype processes.”
Compliant Games will begin clinical studies later this year. The first study will assess whether its system increases patient compliance with prescribed therapies. Other future studies will follow. Developers plan to formally launch the product in Q2 of 2016.
Since 2011, the Cool Idea! Award has provided more than $1 million in Proto Labs prototyping and short-run production services to entrepreneurs developing new products in the United States and Europe. Unlike other awards that recognize products after they’re in mass production and on store shelves, the Cool Idea! Award is meant to help innovative ideas come to life. For more information about the Cool Idea! Award and to apply, visit protolabs.com/coolidea
Compliant Games was founded by Shane Luttrell, who saw a problem with pediatric processes, especially involving respiratory care. Compliant Games plans to use gaming platforms coupled with low-cost hardware/software to improve both the quality and quantity of respiratory exercise. Luttrell has a history of medical product development, working at Pfizer/ValleyLab as well as founding HatchPoint, a product development company that spun out Compliant Games.