While the developers are diving into the recently released Kinect SDK for PC after a slew of Kinect hacks since its launch, Microsoft Research has developed a great adaptation of Avatar Kinect for healthcare implementations.
The concept prototype was demoed by Craig Mundie at Pacific Health Summit in Seattle last week. The goal of the Pacific Health Summit is to connect science, industry, and policy for a healthier world. Incidentally, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a partner at the event.
Craig talked about the advances in technology that help drive revolutionary changes in healthcare around the world. He illustrated several examples from the healthcare industry that extend resources beyond the traditional health facilities and the ones that help analyze patient data. Microsoft has worked with the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. to undertake a study to uncover patterns in the data and calculate risk factors for patients from massive amounts of clinical data.
The futuristic prototype health-care application that Craig demoed is based on Avatar Kinect. Avatar Kinect is a soon-to-be released virtual conferencing technology for Xbox using Kinect’s motion sensor originally shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011. Craig’s demo had a hypothetical example of a support group for people with diabetes, meeting virtually using the technology. Avatar Kinect allows you to create your cartoon-style representations of people with realistic facial expressions and motions controlled in real time through natural movement and speech.
Although the demo looked awesome, Craig Mundie did not divulge any dates or timelines to bring this product to the healthcare industry.