involved in the Web and Media Development Advanced Development Agency (WDMD ADA)
recently developed software for a series of games meant to help with physical
therapy for stroke victims.
As an organization, the ADA “is an applied
research lab funded completely through external grants and industry
partnerships,” most of which are major healthcare providers around the state
and country. Co-directors Dr. Anthony
Ellertson and Dr. Trudi Miller guide and serve as resources to the student
researchers in the organization.
are currently on our 14th or 15th grant, and what we do
as the ADA is solve problems that help families, help the community and help
children. And many of our projects are
limited to those principles,” Ellertson said.
“We are currently working with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Fused Innovations on our stroke therapy
Home-Based Stroke Therapy System project involves the creation of a series of
games and activities that offers stroke victims the opportunity to do intensive
physical therapy within the comfort of their own home, on their own time, using
a Kinect camera. Matthew Luckow, one of
the designers of the project, helped in the planning, building and testing
process of the game.
player wears a glove and plays through the game using different hand gestures,”
Luckow said. “It’s all based on what
they would need to do in therapy, but it’s meant to be fun and allows them to
stay at home to do physical therapy rather than going to a group home or
further explained that the challenge the research students faced was taking the
Kinect camera and tricking it to sense movements through the hands and fingers,
rather than full-body movements. The
idea of the game is to mimic the activities that therapists would use in a
physical therapy session working with stroke victims.
only has the ADA developed software for stroke victims, but the organization
offers similar programs designed specifically for other health-related
problems. Projects include SpeechTail, a
speech therapy program, the In-Patient Registration, a registration program in
healthcare buildings meant to make registration easier for patients, and a
program meant to help with therapy for Autism patients.
was a need for a program to help with the therapy of Autism patients as more
insurance companies started to offer money towards therapy,” Ellertson
said. “A company by the name of Research
and Motion flew a team to Stevens Point, and they provided ADA with resources
and tablets that allowed the group to start developing the project.”
project created by the organization has been successful and merited a positive response.
Some programs have or may potentially gain national recognition. While the work the researchers do is
important to technology companies around the world, the experience they gain is
invaluable to their future.
day one, the researchers at ADA are joining a community of practicing
professionals,” Ellertson said. “They
take the knowledge and skills they have gained from a class setting and apply
those ideas to real world problems and people, and they begin to realize and
understand the value of what they are doing for themselves and for others.”
WDMD ADA will continue to work on projects until the end of this semester when
the lab will be closed. The organization’s
projects can be viewed via videos and photos on their Facebook page by
searching “WDMD Advanced Development Agency.”