Virtual-Reality Enhanced Rehabilitation for Sustainable and Usable Services

VRMedia s.r.l. –  Progetto finanziato dal POR FESR Toscana 2014-2020

The research project aims to create a technologically advanced platform, called VERSUS, for robot-assisted rehabilitation of the upper limb of post-stroke patients. In particular, the objective is to guarantee the optimization and continuity of hospital-territory care of rehabilitation treatment.
The need to develop this platform is part of a context in which the Region of Tuscany has started a process of revision of the assistance pathways for an optimization supported by information technologies. The management model envisages the achievement of continuity of care from the hospitalization phase to the territorial phase.
Given the high incidence of stroke, which is the second leading cause of death in the world and the third leading cause of death in industrialized countries, and the first cause of disability in the elderly, the target group of users of the VERSUS platform is represented by patients post – stroke in the subacute phase.
In particular,the proposed platform will be composed of two settings: one for the intensive rehabilitation inside the hospital, one for out-patients clinic services.

The VERSUS platform will consist of:

  • A software platform for the management of rehabilitation treatment, which will allow the organization of the patient treatment from the [nbsp]recovery to the de-hospitalization phase to the territorial phase. The platform will allow the clinical team (physiatrist physician / neurologist, physiotherapist) to plan the most suitable rehabilitation protocol for the patient’s residual functions and the recovery objectives foreseen in the rehabilitation program;
  • A virtual reality software platform for robot-assisted rehabilitation characterized by an immersive visualization system, with the possibility of use even in stereoscopy, to solve the difficulty of existing visualization systems where, due to their dimensions, the sense of presence and immersion in the virtual environment is greatly reduced;
  • wearable sensors for motion monitoring, in terms of joint angles, velocity and acceleration, to quantitatively evaluate motor recovery using kinematic data and joint intervals;
  • modular devices, for the rehabilitation of the upper limb (e.g. shoulder, forearm, wrist) and modules for the rehabilitation of the hand (e.g. index-thumb opposition, index-average opposition)

The design and development of this platform will take place through four operational objectives: the identification of functional requirements and technical specifications that will characterize the platform (operational objective 1), the development and validation of the various modules (operational objectives 2 and 3), the clinical trial and the engineering of the platform (operational objective 4).