European Union of Private Hospitals

EPHA Awards 2023 – Collaborative projects in Health category

CUF Hospitals and Clinics – Portugal, was one of the three finalists for the European Private Hospital Awards 2023, in the Collaborative projects in Health category, with its Physiotherapy Sessions via a Gamified Platform

What makes your project so special?

Our project in collaboration with the Portuguese startup Clynx is special for several reasons. Firstly, supporting the strengthening of technologies and solutions that assist in the treatment of pathologies is very important, as this is the only way we can bring new and innovative solutions to the market that improve the lives of those in need of treatment.

Secondly, this project looks at a conventional area of care and gives it a new dynamic. Often, people become demotivated by physiotherapy treatment because it is time consuming and repetitive, making it monotonous and unappealing. By enabling the execution of treatments in a gaming version, it becomes a more dynamic task and becomes almost entertainment instead of an obligation, increasing the likelihood of adherence and completion of exercises throughout the treatment.

Thirdly, despite not requiring the clinical team to perform the exercise with the patient, this technology produces concrete reports on the patient’s progress, with real metrics collected during the games. This allows the clinical team to monitor and have more information about the patient’s actual progress.

The fourth reason is that by allowing exercises to be done autonomously, it opens up the possibility for patients to do them in the comfort of their own homes, making treatment more frequent, requiring fewer visits to the clinic, and thus being much more compatible with the patient’s daily life, facilitating treatment adherence as a result.

Lastly, the fact that it allows autonomous execution of prescribed exercises enables the design of a hybrid treatment plan, thereby accelerating recovery in many cases. Based on all of this, we believe that our project represents innovation in healthcare as a whole, using technology to make healthcare more convenient, measurable, appealing, faster, without compromising clinical quality.

What does this award mean to you and your teams?

Being recognized by the EPHA, whose goal is to promote health and best health practices in Europe, is a tremendous honor as it is an undeniable quality acknowledgement. These awards confirm our organization and people´seffort to outperform every day, striving for continuous improvement, seeking the best solutions to provide better care and finding the most sustainable ways to do so, with the patient at the center. Being awarded an EPHA prize is therefore a confirmation of our approach and a recognition among peers for the work done.

The project

Clynx has the mission of making the physiotherapy experience more effective and motivating for both patients and healthcare professionals. The solution developed by Clynx allows patients to perform physiotherapy exercises in a video game environment, making treatment substantially more motivating, digital, and interactive. At the same time, the entire treatment progression is made available digitally and objectively to the patient and healthcare professional through the Patient Portal and the Physiotherapist Portal.

The Project with Clynx was used in physiotherapy sessions at the CUF Alvalade Clinic, focusing on the right upper limb, using 4 different games for: limb flexion, external shoulder rotation, Codman pendulums, and shoulder abduction. The goal was to collect feedback from both the client and the physiotherapist on the game, through a form at the end of each session and after a month of use for clients, and every two weeks for physiotherapists.

The main objectives were:

  • Test the solution in a clinical environment, involving, for the first time, the main stakeholders (i.e. patients and healthcare professionals) in its use.
  • Collect feedback of patient satisfaction with the usability, pleasantness, and user experience of the gaming component of the solution.
  • Collect feedback from physiotherapists regarding the clinical validity of the solution and the ease of use of the online platform, the Physiotherapist Portal, as a helpful tool to manage treatment plans and monitor patient progress.
  • Identify points of immediate improvement through reported suggestions and/or usage problems.
  • Evaluate the success of the pilot under different variables:
    • acceptance of this type of therapy for recurring practice;
    • influence of patient age;
    • main advantages reported in terms of patient motivation;
    • main clinical and operational advantages reported by the physiotherapy team.
  • Identify the next development goals and build a version of the solution with significant improvements, to be tested in a subsequent phase of the study.

We at CUF believe that Innovation is crucial, so we focus on maintaining partnerships and working closely with universities, scientific institutes, startups, scaleups and organizations who developed innovative solutions or techniques. This enables CUF to learn and to improve continuously in its clinical practice and also in its management processes efficiency.

For additional information, https://www.cuf.pt/en