Filisia Interfaces

Filisia Interfaces
Filisia uses interactive technology, music and games to motivate people with disabilities in their rehabilitation process.
Social Purpose: 
There are more than 40 million people worldwide with musculoskeletal problems and cognitive challenges who need to exercise regularly to improve their physical, cognitive and motor skills. Yet, these exercises quickly become boring and are not performed correctly οr continued at home, which results in an under-performing rehabilitation program. Demotivation of people undergoing rehabilitation programs to exercise has unfavourable effects to their health, leading to requirements for greater intervention by therapists and increased care costs. However, significant neurological rehabilitation studies, indicate that brain plasticity is catalysed by applications that encourage participation and creative expression such as music and games. These are engaging, reduce perceived effort and motivate the client to exercise cognitively and physically while having fun. The problem is that there are very few accessible creative solutions that focus on rehabilitation.
Social Impact: 
For the past year we have been collaborating with 50 therapists, 3 rehabilitation centers and 30 users (Europe and USA) in order to design Monoma. We have had multiple validation of our design through hands-on testing, research interviews and focus groups. Therapists who evaluated Monoma found that it is beneficial to its users in four distinct ways: a) It is a recreational tool: It enables the creative expression, strengthens the users’ sense of accomplishment and socialization skills. b) It supports their physical rehabilitation: users are encouraged to stretch their hands and arms, press down with their hand, and lift their arm. Using the devices further supports hand-eye coordination and coordination between the two hands. c) It supports cognitive training: The interaction of the software and the LED lights in our system, encourages the reaction to stimuli, the following of instructions, understanding of cause and effect, the training of attention, orientation and memory. d) It is a great evaluation tool : Monoma is equipped to provide quantitative proof and assessment of these benefits through embedded data collection, every time the client uses it. Therefore on the physical aspect, we collect data on the speed, strength and endurance of the movement of the user. On the cognitive aspect, the therapist can see the evolution of users' memory skills, their reaction time and the improvement of their turn-taking skills. This way therapists can assess the impact on the clients’skills over time.
Innovative Character: 
Our first product is Monoma, consists of a modular set of tactile and wireless units that are touch and force sensitive and a software platform with therapy modules that offer visual (light) and musical stimuli. Each software module is a training programme that helps improve specific cognitive or kinetic deficits and facilitates socialisation, memory and turn taking interactions. Therapists can select exercises and customise them to the abilities and needs of the client. Our system also collects performance data of clients’ physical and cognitive abilities, and presents it to their therapists for the evaluation of clients’ capacities. +50 therapists have co-designed Monoma and evaluated its versatility, expressivity, creativity and cognitive and motor training capabilities. There are a few companies worldwide that make creative interfaces that are accessible people with disabilities. Competitor companies aim at accessible creative expression, with varying levels of customisation, yet none of these companies focuses on rehabilitation, like we do. Monoma incorporates the exercise motivation and sensory integration aspects in its feature sets. Our main advantage lever is the hardware we have developed. Its ergonomics enable the control by people with motoric movement deficits and its open API enables collaboration with existing training software packages. Its tactility and visual features (colours and shapes) are designed to foster engagement and serve as a sensory tool that keeps the client away from the screen during training. This technology expands the possibilities of accessible systems in general, while our focus is on user engagement in rehabilitation. Moreover, in order to develop Monoma we have been working with professionals from (a) the therapy and rehabilitation industry (therapists, care centers, medical equipment designers) and (b) from the creative industries (designer, sound designer, composer, game designer, interaction and product designer).This is a rather novel and creative approach and demonstrates the value of the synergy that we have envisaged.
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