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Abstract

Therapy games have the potential to offer people with disabilities a cost-effective, personalized, data-driven, connected, and motivating context for otherwise tedious and repetitive therapy. The paramount challenge in creating therapy games is creating a motivating experience with mechanics that translate into improved health outcomes---a wicked problem. To this end, I use research through design to explore multiple approaches to the co-creation of therapy games for various populations, including children with speech impairments, adults with developmental disabilities, children with Sensory-Based Motor Disorder (SBMD), and stroke survivors. I have collaborated on 3 therapy games, which serve as case studies where I explore identifying best practices, unique insights, and suggestions for future therapy game creators. Specifically, I discuss game-first versus therapy-first approaches, closed-game systems versus more open-ended playful systems, and potential future research directions.
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... However, 12 studies out of 24 studies did not address any specific SSD (see figure 9). These studies proposed automated tools for a generalized SSD population and experimented without specifying any particular SSD [8,[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]. ...
... In another similar study, Ramamurthy et al. proposed a therapy robot, "Buddy," allowing children to practice assigned exercises at home [31]. Many studies have incorporated serious games as an intervention tool for automatic speech therapy [7,21,25,31,34]. One of the studies incorporated augmented reality to build a serious game using tongue detection [25]. ...
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This paper presents a systematic literature review of published studies on AI-based automated speech therapy tools for persons with speech sound disorders (SSD). The COVID-19 pandemic has initiated the requirement for automated speech therapy tools for persons with SSD making speech therapy accessible and affordable. However, there are no guidelines for designing such automated tools and their required degree of automation compared to human experts. In this systematic review, we followed the PRISMA framework to address four research questions: 1) what types of SSD do AI-based automated speech therapy tools address, 2) what is the level of autonomy achieved by such tools, 3) what are the different modes of intervention, and 4) how effective are such tools in comparison with human experts. An extensive search was conducted on digital libraries to find research papers relevant to our study from 2007 to 2022. The results show that AI-based automated speech therapy tools for persons with SSD are increasingly gaining attention among researchers. Articulation disorders were the most frequently addressed SSD based on the reviewed papers. Further, our analysis shows that most researchers proposed fully automated tools without considering the role of other stakeholders. Our review indicates that mobile-based and gamified applications were the most frequent mode of intervention. The results further show that only a few studies compared the effectiveness of such tools compared to expert Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP). Our paper presents the state-of- the-art in the field, contributes significant insights based on the research questions, and provides suggestions for future research directions.
... Developing games is time-consuming and costly. Overly clinical therapy games run the risk of being boring, which defeats the purpose of using games to motivate healing in the irst place [10,23]. In this work, we adapt and repurpose an existing immersive virtual reality (iVR) game, Spellcasters, originally designed purely for entertainment for use as a stroke rehabilitation gameÐwhich is particularly relevant in the wake of COVID-19, where telehealth solutions are increasingly needed [4]. ...
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Developing games is time-consuming and costly. Overly clinical therapy games run the risk of being boring, which defeats the purpose of using games to motivate healing in the first place [10, 23]. In this work, we adapt and repurpose an existing immersive virtual reality (iVR) game, Spellcasters, originally designed purely for entertainment for use as a stroke rehabilitation game—which is particularly relevant in the wake of COVID-19, where telehealth solutions are increasingly needed [4]. In preparation for participatory design sessions with stroke survivors, we collaborate with 14 medical professionals to ensure Spellcasters is safe and therapeutically valid for clinical adoption. We present our novel VR sandbox implementation that allows medical professionals to customize appropriate gestures and interactions for each patient's unique needs. Additionally, we share a co-designed companion app prototype based on clinicians' preferred data reporting mechanisms for telehealth. We discuss insights about adapting and repurposing entertainment games as serious games for health, features that clinicians value, and the potential broader impacts of applications like Spellcasters for stroke management.
... Interaction within such environments has been found to yield a plethora of benefits for a variety of health related applications stimulate mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes [13]- [19]. Yet, the challenge in utilizing virtual environments as games for health comes in finding a balance between therapy and entertainment, maintaining player engagement, and ensuring an accessible and positive user experience [20], [21]. ...
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