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FITBoard (STEM Toys)

Enabling Engineering

The Need

A major problem in pediatric rehabilitation is the lack of accessible, affordable, home-based interventions that motivate children to adhere to their physical therapy routines. Existing solutions are often too expensive for regular home use or not accessible for children with disabilities.

The Solution

To address this issue, we have used game design principles to integrate the advantages of VR into an accessible, low-cost physical toy. The FITBoard (Fun Interactive Therapy Board) is a rehabilitation tool consisting of a tablet and boards with touch keys that parents can configure in different ways. Toys and other interfaces are attached to the keys to control sounds, videos, or games. The FITBoard will motivate children to engage in repetitive practice of functional head, body, arm or leg movements, depending on its configuration. We are now evaluating FITBoard’s usability among a sample of children, parents, and therapists in two rehabilitation settings. We will assess users’ interaction with the FITBoard and evaluate factors that may impede or facilitate its use in rehabilitation. Our findings will inform future research. Ultimately, the FITBoard can be integrated into interventions to increase practice dosage, enhance outcomes and improve quality of life for children with disabilities.