PATIENTS recovering from stroke, sustained muscle contractions and sports injuries could reduce rehabilitation time by 30% through a virtual reality gaming platform.
Academic and engineering experts from the University of Strathclyde and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) have teamed up with British and European partners for the initiative, funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, which promotes economic growth through research.
Known as PRIME-VR2, the two-year project will create a digital environment using virtual reality (VR) within rehabilitation programs. The technology aims to improve rehabilitation speed and completion rates, making it more stimulating and complementing traditional methods, while facilitating physical demands on occupational and physical therapists.
The digital platform allows medical staff to track patients ’progress through game data and provide virtually continuous support and will help patients develop upper body motor skills to improve arm, wrist, hand and finger movement. , in addition to providing personalized activities based on their cognitive and physical impairments.
People with dystonia of neurological movement, for example, can practice pouring a glass of water into the virtual world without spilling a drop of reality.
Strathclyde and NMIS support industry partners, Loud1Design with the development of the virtual program and a prototype video game controller tailored to each patient. The project is coordinated by the University of Pisa and includes academic partners in Malta, Oulu and London, and partners from the world of technology and gaming industry.
Andrew Wodehouse, Professor in the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde, and founder of the European Consortium, said: “The result of this project will make the long recovery process more attractive while will allow them to be accurately recorded, allowing for specific and measurable targets to accelerate rehabilitation time. ”
Kareema Hilton, NMIS manufacturing engineer, added: “We are working closely with our colleagues at the University of Strathclyde and the wider consortium, bringing experience from a variety of environments to ensure that the virtual platform and physical controller fully reflect the requirements of each patient “.