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BootleBlast, a movement tracking video game for home-based motor therapy – Navigating gaps to market readiness

Many children experience challenges in motor skills that impact well being. Therapies can help, but can be costly and difficult to access. We worked with children, parents and clinicians to co-create a video game, Bootle Blast, for home practice of motor skills. Using the Microsoft Kinect, Bootle Blast tracks movements and manipulation of real-life objects. Research shows that children can improve motor skills by playing Bootle Blast at home.

Aims. Our goal is to increase commercial viability of Bootle Blast by:

(1) Reducing the need for specialized/expensive hardware.

(2) Conducting real-world testing to identify barriers to home use.

Research Plan. Two new versions of Bootle Blast will be tested with tracking enabled by (1) a low-cost, combined computer-depth sensor-camera, or (2) simple webcams. We will test usability and how well actions are captured within the game with 12 children of diverse abilities. Second, we will test Bootle Blast for 15 weeks in home settings with 60 children with diverse diagnoses affecting motor skills, including developmental coordination disorder (affects 1 in 16 children). We will assess feasibility (e.g. independent home setup, ability to set and meet self-directed play time targets), enablers/barriers to use, and perceived value. User experience will inform product strategy, training and resource development.

Commercialization Plan. Bootle Blast will be marketed first to rehabilitation hospitals/clinics, and then to families in Canada and the US. Commercialization activities will include disseminating research evidence, pre-market preparation (e.g. establish partnerships, market research), and product launch (e.g. spread awareness, generate buy-in).

Impact. Bootle Blast offers children, families, and clinicians an innovative tool to promote function, playfulness, and well-being. It address practical healthcare funding and accessibility issues. This project will enhance Canada’s burgeoning digital health sector.