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Imaginary: Designing Customized Solutions for Patient’s Growth

Lucia Pannese | CEO | Imaginary
Lucia Pannese | CEO | Imaginary

Video games and Healthcare. Ever wondered what’s the relation between the two? Well, sticking to our issue of rehabilitation, here, video games assist to target and improve physical and mental weaknesses through therapeutic processes. Video games have become an integral part of physio occupational therapy practice in acute, rehabilitation, and community settings. The design for video games in rehabilitation focuses on a number of fundamental principles such as reward, goals, challenge, meaningful play.

Likewise, today, we bring forth a company that provides gamified solution for rehabilitation. We’d like to present Imaginary, a company that develops applications meeting the demands, needs, and expectations of all the stakeholders. Developed with the help of doctors and patients, the advanced eHealth solutions provider supports prevention, active ageing, personalized telerehabilitation, patient empowerment, and motivation.

Based in Milan, Italy, Imaginary is one of the longest established and most respected European Serious Games companies. Since its formation in 2004, the firm has built an enviable reputation for its multi-disciplinary specialization in the gamification marketplace. \

Imaginary works within the two main development areas-eHealth and Care, Training and Education. Its products and services engage, motivate, and empower users to meet the 21st century’s real-world challenges. Through the understanding of gamification and its associated technologies, the company provides solutions that contribute to clients’ sustainable growth, development, and competitive advantage.

A Passionate CEO

Lucia Pannese, Imaginary’s CEO, graduated in Applied Mathematics and founded the company in 2004. Since then, she has been involved with her heart and all her energies in the company, which has been growing steadily. Lucia has more than 20 years of managing experience in innovation & research projects with a special focus on digital interactive technologies to deliver user experiences.

Lucia is involved in European research around enabling technologies, specifically serious games, gamification, and digital interactive technologies for learning, training, and behavioral change across several sectors, particularly health and care, culture, and business.

REHABILITY from Imaginary

REHABILITY is the suite of serious games co-designed with specialists and patients post-stroke, with Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. Recently, it was proven also for spinal cord injury patients.

Recognized as a connected health solution, REHABILITY allows patients to take part in therapy both within a specialist facility and from home with continuous remote medical support. It combines physical with cognitive exercise, and the medical staff can personalize the exercises for every single patient in each phase of the therapy.

The product derives from two former EU projects and motivates elderly people to comply with the prescribed therapy, thus supporting adherence. The product is culturally neutral and multi-lingual, being able to address people from different countries. For ease of use and cost-effectiveness, REHABILITY uses off-the-shelf affordable consumer technology. That is, it runs on PC, set-top box connected to a TV and tablet, and works with several motion tracking systems.

Moreover, REHABILITY has been adopted in nine nations, all around the world, by 23 institutions with a great appreciation both from specialists as well as patients.


Co-designed with specialists and patients, the cognitive and motor games by REHABILITY capture patient’s motivations. The games have been developed after studying traditional physiotherapy and cognitive stimulation for elderly people. They have also been designed together with some international neurology specialists.

The games ‘translate’ motor exercises and foresee an interaction through upper or lower limbs, shifts in balance, or movements like squat via a motion tracking system. Simultaneously, the games hold a set of cognitive stimuli in different areas such as memory, attention, categorization, etc. The games are also based on parameters that specialists have to tune according to the state and impairments of each patient to deliver personalized medicine.

Industry Recognitions

During its journey of fifteen years and its value of work, REHABILITY has been acknowledged all over the world. Some of the recognitions include:

  • Digital Innovation Award-PATIENTS’ DIGITAL HEALTH AWARDS 2018
  • Seal of Excellence 2018-European Commission
  • Nominee innovation of the year award-European Neuro Convention 2018
  • Awarded at the Pitch Competition-Frontiers Conference 2017
  • Best presentation award-Healthtech Invest Europe 2017
  • 1st prize institution & payors category- Digital Awards AboutPharma 2015

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

Alongside games for rehab, Imaginary also develops training and education games to be more motivating, inclusive, social and easily connected to real-life situations or to keep competencies.

Imaginary has developed diverse immersive, motivating experiences, and specialists’ training. Examples of such include; a Neonatal Resuscitation Training Game or Injection Game: 3D game-based simulated learning tools, targeted to healthcare professionals. This allows learning by trial-and-error in a risk-free environment. The game has proved efficient in competencies retention and cost reduction.

Solutions for Tomorrow

At present, REHABILITY remains dedicated to neurology patients. Already proven and stable versions are being continuously enhanced. Alongside, a cardio version and a kids version is also in production.

The firm takes suggestions and opinions of the customers who thereby influence the production pipeline. Further, the company is in several discussions with international partners for integration with other systems.

There is also REHABILITY lite, a version specifically dedicated to elderly people. It helps them to realize their potential and promote active ageing. It combines physical and mental well-being, social participation, and independence in a non-clinical context. This version also auto-tunes the level of difficulty of each game according to a user’s experience.

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