How did the concept KIDnect take shape?
KiDnect idea was born at a table in a Cafe Bar when the Apptenders team (the founding team off KiDnect) was relaxing in a nice chat & talk atmosphere. We were discussing about a new technology, Microsoft Kinect and concluded that it is so cool that we have to use it in our project. Since Karmela (a team member of Apptenders) is a medical student, everything was pretty clear and we decided to build a system for remote rehabilitation using the technology of Kinect. Cerebral palsy was chosen as the primary disability we're addressing because it's quite severe and very common disability in children.
How does it facilitate children with cerebral palsy and physical therapists?
KiDnect enables physical therapists to record individualized exercises for each patient. Exercises are synchronized to patient's computer at home using our cloud web service. Patients can daily repeat the given exercises and statistics are sent back to the physical therapist who can track progress and modify the exercises accordingly so one physical therapist can work with multiple patients.Cerebral palsy is a disability where every patient is unique and using our system physical therapists record individualized exercises for each child.
Children can do their boring routine exercises in a fun way watching a funny avatar on the screen and repeating what it is doing. Avatar can be a bunny, bear, cartoon character etc. So children are well motivated to do the exercises and that is the key for making a progress in the treatment of their disability.
What are the key areas in which KIDnect helps patients from the development perspective? Can it be used by parents at home?
KiDnect is ultimately meant to be used by children at home. Their parents are encouraged to help them with their exercises, but as parents are not physical therapists they are often doing wrong things that can make child's condition worse. KiDnect steps in here as it shows how an exercise must be done on the screen and parents can watch it together with their children and help them to achieve a certain movement proposed on the screen. When KiDnect sees that the child had succeeded, it moves to the next part of the exercise. Otherwise, it repeats the current part.
What technologies have been integrated and used in the making of KIDnect?
We use Microsoft Kinect for recording and monitoring the exercises. Our applications use Microsoft .NET platform and XNA Framework for graphics and our cloud service is hosted on Windows Azure.
Can you tell us about Team Apptenders and its members?
Team Apptenders is made of 4 young enthusiastic folks. Ivan Borko and me from University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Ivan Antonic from Polytechnics of Zagreb and Karmela Bresan from University of Zagreb, School of Medicine. Ivan Borko and me are second year undergrads in computer science while Ivan Antonic is a third year student and Karmela is on the fifth year. I'm also the team captain at KiDnect. I have a keen interest in medicine and when you combine computer science and medicine, you get very innovative and creative projects like KiDnect.
How was the experience participating at the Imagine Cup and the feeling of winning the Imagine Cup?
The experience was great. We met a lot of interesting people from different cultures and got to know them, we've seen many interesting solutions from the other participants and exchanged ideas and thoughts.
The feeling of winning the Imagine Cup was great and very exciting, but the real moral pleasure starts now as we're implementing our solution in hospitals and children's homes to really make a difference and change the world. Nothing can describe the feeling when we see happy faces of children doing the exercises in a fun way using our software. The best feeling in the world.
What advice would you like to give next year participants?
I have an advice to give to next year participants. Just be yourself, brainstorm for the idea and believe in it. It will come true.