Like many other parts of the world, Spain's Basque Country is currently faced with an increasing population of senior citizens placing strain upon the limited resources of the health care system. That's why the Teki project was instituted. It allows patients with chronic conditions to quickly check in with their doctors via an internet-connected Microsoft Kinect unit, thus reducing the number of time-consuming office visits, and catching problems before they require hospitalization.
Teki was developed by technology services company Accenture, along with partners including Microsoft.
Users receive a Kinect box that is hooked up to their TV and internet, along with a wireless heart rate monitor that measures the pulse via the finger, and a spirometer for measuring respiratory levels.
On a regular basis, via an interface on the TV screen, patients communicate with their doctor using video conferencing, voice communications, or text messaging. At that time, the doctor can check their vitals, inquire about their symptoms, and answer any questions.
Additionally, the interface allows users to complete symptom-related questionnaires by gesture control, and to perform prescribed rehabilitative exercises. Animated figures guide them through those exercises, while the Kinect's 3D depth-sensing technology is able to determine if they're performing the exercises correctly. If not, the system will let them know.
According to a report on CNBC, Teki saved over US$55 million in a recent pilot project, by eliminating the need for approximately 52,000 hospital visits.