Genesis Rehab Services and Respond Well Honored as Joint Recipients of the 2014 Microsoft Health Users Group Innovation Award

Kennett Square, Pa. — Feb. 24, 2014 — Genesis Rehab Services (GRS) and Respond Well today announced that they have been named joint recipients of Microsoft Corp.’s 2014 Health Users Group Innovation Award for Patient Engagement for their creation of the Genesis Rehab Services Virtual Trainer, a falls prevention and rehab solution powered by the Respond Well platform.

The awards, which were announced at the 2014 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., recognize health organizations and their technology solution partners for using Microsoft devices and services in innovative ways that help enhance the quality of patient care, improve clinician productivity and electronic medical record (EMR) optimization, and streamline clinical and business processes. The 2014 winners are revolutionizing the health industry by creating breakthrough solutions that are empowering healthcare organizations to make a real impact on healthcare.  

“The healthcare industry is rapidly shifting. Despite these unprecedented changes, organizations and providers are being expected to transform how they operate, but in a way that maintains high quality care for patients,” said Steve Aylward, General Manager, Solutions & Strategy of U.S. Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft Corp. “The winners of this year’s Microsoft Health Users Group Innovation Awards all met this challenge with enthusiasm, advancing true innovation by using technology to achieve excellence.”

The Genesis Rehab Services Virtual Trainer, developed by Respond Well, is an interactive and engaging falls prevention and rehab solution developed to improve patient health and vitality.  Genesis is promoting their “Virtual Trainer” platform to their sites of service across the U.S. as part of their Balance in Action® fall risk management initiative.


Designed primarily for older adults, the Genesis Rehab Services Virtual Trainer is based on an evidence-based exercise program proven to reduce falls and fall-related injuries in frail older adults. The program increases a patient’s level of physical activity, engagement, and adherence to an exercise program over time. This contributes to improvements in patients’ lower body strength and balance stability – the two most important factors in falls prevention.

Therapists perform an initial assessment and then prescribe a custom routine comprised of balance, strength, and walking movements. While the patient performs this routine by following an animated virtual therapist, the Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor evaluates the patient’s form and the Virtual Trainer provides additional encouragement and form cues as needed. Performance data is collected and analyzed to help predict future outcomes and improve care for both individual patients and larger populations.  “Our goal is preventing falls and improving the health of the older adult, which contributes to improved outcome performance at our partner facilities,” said Dan Hirschfeld, President of Genesis Rehab Services. 

The Respond Well rehab platform helps providers address a need to accurately collect patient assessment and performance data but also monitor the patient both in the clinic and in the home using medical and consumer devices. In addition to falls prevention, Respond Well also offers pulmonary, general wellness and senior fitness modules.  Respond Well’s tools help therapists make more effective decisions about the patient’s care, ultimately leading to greater healing and better health.  

Nominations were submitted by hospitals, health systems, clinics, and public and private health organizations across the world for applying Microsoft technology to create transformative and highly-effective innovations. An esteemed panel of industry experts selected this year’s winners based on how their innovation represents a forward-thinking development or implementation of a solution that is delivering groundbreaking results and producing better health outcomes for more people. Recipients will be highlighted on the Microsoft website at  and on the Microsoft in Health blog at

About Genesis Rehab Services

Genesis Rehab Services (GRS) is the leading provider of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy and wellness services in the long-term care rehabilitation industry. As one of the largest and strongest rehab organizations in the country, GRS partners with skilled nursing centers, assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, hospitals, home health companies, adult day care programs and outpatient clinics to provide comprehensive therapy services, primarily to older adults. GRS currently operates and staffs rehab gyms in 46 states and the District of Columbia, and was named a Top Workplace by the Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News and a Best Place to Work by several regional publications. For more information, visit

About Respond Well

Respond Well (formerly Respondesign) is on a mission to improve adherence to physical therapy by encouraging patients with entertainment, challenges, and rewards. The Respond Well platform uses devices like the Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor to track patient performance in the clinic or at home. Providers shifting to an outcomes-driven model leverage the platform benefits of patient monitoring, rehab performance tracking, and a set of data analytics and predictive tools that measure outcome success. For more information, visit