Reflexion Health Kinect-Based Physical Therapy

Reflexion Health is a San Diego-based start up that is reimagining a rehab management tool to track at-home patient adherence to physical therapy using the Microsoft Kinect. Reflexion saw an opportunity to improve their existing product by engaging with Mad*Pow. Together, we seamlessly integrated game mechanics into their original application to increase patient engagement and adherence. Mad*Pow delivered a collection of concepts, strategy, and discovery documents as well as the major flows and methods of evaluation for the full player experience. Reflexion Health is currently building off of the concepts we provided them and plan to do an initial release implementing the new player experience.
  • Assess the safety and accuracy of exercises for patients at home
  • Evaluate and understand the Kinect’s camera capabilities
  • Explore the player’s at-home gamespace in relation to the virtual gamespace.

The structure of the project allowed us to work in a much more narrative approach than usual. We took inspiration from Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and modeled the entire patient experience along that narrative. This allowed us to explore unusual game mechanics to emphasize the journey aspect of rehabilitation. Our redesign allows patients to feel like the heroes on their own journey to recovery as they move along an evolving path, make progress in their physical therapy program and achieve their goals.

Gameplay, Progress, and the Player Journey Towards Recovery
The most exciting challenge posed by the Reflexion project was learning how to design for the Kinect. We traveled to San Diego to spend the week with the Reflexion Health team, embedded ourselves in their work environment, and collaboratively worked through the problem space. We conducted research into other Kinect-based fitness and dance games, and we body stormed to help us envision the player-avatar exercise relationship. We worked with the team to resolve the question of avatar mirroring and player orientation in a way that was amenable to both clinicians and designers.

Upon returning to Mad*Pow, we dug into the full-fledged design effort. We used the Hero’s Journey to shape the user flow, which offered us incredible flexibility. We were able to show gameplay through progression in a way that is unlike any other game that we’ve designed. We borrowed stages from the narrative to introduce new game mechanics such as environmental changes, new rule introduction and in-game avatar customization. We resolved questions surrounding mirroring, the coach’s orientation to the player, calibration with the Kinect and gamespace, visualizing separate client-facing and patient-facing timelines, and balancing between between playfulness, accuracy and safety.

The new player journey in the Reflexion Health experience will give patients the opportunity to engage with a game-like, playful therapy program. This program incorporates novelty and surprise into an otherwise monotonous exercise regime by introducing new environments, juicy feedback and a sense of progress and accomplishment towards a larger goal.

Improved patient engagement, adherence, and satisfaction

We embedded ourselves with the Reflexion Health team in San Diego for one week, and committed the following two weeks to creating the concepts, flows, and strategy. Our final deliverable to the Reflexion team consisted of concepts with annotations allowing the Reflexion team to implement the experience based on the concepts we delivered. The Reflexion team implemented the new player experience based on our behavior change and gameful strategy which resulted in an outcome of 70% average adherence rate for 30 minutes a day of painful therapy.

"We benefited tremendously from the expertise that Mad*Pow brought onsite.  Through leading work sessions with our team and 'body storming' to better understand the patient and coach relationship, we accelerated the development of our vision, identified new opportunities and achieved internal consensus on the direction for our product."– Martin Adler, Reflexion Health, EVP Strategy


Want to offer your customers a better experience?

Let's work together: Contact Us Today

Reflexion Health
Reflexion Health Kinect-Based Physical Therapy


Reflexion Health
Ciara Taylor Managing Director, Behavior Change Design
Dustin DiTommaso SVP Behavior Change Design   Contact Dustin
Samantha Dempsey Senior Behavior Change & Experience Designer

Related Case Studies
Newsletter Sign Up

Mad*Pow HQ

27 Congress Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Office: 603.436.7177
Fax: 603.386.6608


179 Lincoln Street
Boston, MA 02111

Office: 617.426.7177


Complete Sale Inquiry Form


Sales: solutions
Press: communications

Get in Touch