Virtual Reality-based and collaborative cognitive remediation solution
A French ICT SME develops an innovative cognitive remediation solution based on Virtual reality technology. It allows the therapist to adapt and monitor in real-time the sessions and people with stroke, head trauma or neurodegenerative disease to length their re-education exercises between sessions. This optimizes chances to recover cognitive functions. The company is seeking partners for commercial agreement with technical assistance, R&D and technical cooperations or financial agreements.
Partners sought could be Industrial partners in the health sector such as medical device manufacturers and tele-assistance organizations, interested in a commercial agreement with technical assistance. The partners must be able to work in the fields of well-being and active-aging such as healthcare institutions (hospitals, elderly care centers) or companies working in the fields of ambient assistive living (AAL). Role of partners sought: implement the solution and adapting the software to their specific needs and requirements with the assistance of the French company. Partners (public or private) interested in further development, improvement and optimization of the device will be also considered under technical cooperation and/or research cooperation agreement. Role of partner sought: collaborate with the French company - to develop new types of exercices and new products in the field of health sector. - to implement new technologies in the solution. Financial investors are also welcome to accelerate the development.
In 2015, WHO assessed people with cognitive impairment worldwide: - 50 million for dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) - 45 million for stroke - 10 million for head trauma - 7 million with Parkinson's disease - 3 million suffering from multiple sclerosis. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 will double from about 11% to 22%. The absolute number of people aged 60 and over is expected to increase from 605 million to two billion over the same period. This demographic aging will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering from dementia, and therefore suffering from cognitive disorders. Unfortunately, exercises offered by traditional remediation solutions often are uncorrelated with daily difficulties and set. They are not evolutive and adaptable to each patient. Their parameters can't be modified during the activity, independent of each other and don't give a global vision of the cognitive profile of a patient. A French based SME active in the field of virtual reality (VR) softwares develops a VR-based software intended for speech therapists, occupational therapists and neuropsychologists. It's used on PCs, tablets and Virtual Reality helmets and requires 2 connected computers (wifi or wired network or the Internet) to execute the two applications (Therapist and Patient). The therapist's station executes the "Therapist application" to manage patient records, and to launch exercises. The innovative technology allows the therapist to become a kind of “game master” by being able to put the patient in a situation and to control and influence in real time the scenario depending on the patient answers. The therapist can thus adjust the complexity of the exercise. The patient only sees the "Patient application". On rehabilitation activities, the application trains analytical activities by allowing intensive work on a specific cognitive function (such as memory, attention, language, executive or visio-space functions); but also on functional activities through simulations (2D or 3D) of daily life controlled by the therapist and putting the patient in an immersive environment. Within a therapeutic project, the therapist can define a full course of therapy for each patient and configure the transition between each step. It also provides a complete patient follow-up through a system of assessments with the general trend of the patient's evolution, and performs further analysis by accessing graphs progression of the scores. The software is already tested with positive feedback in several hospitals and clinics in France and Europe. It is also used as training material in some school of occupational therapy and the company participates in collaborative research projects. Commercial agreement with technical assistance is sought with industrial healthcare companies, healthcare institutions to adapt the technology to their specific needs. These partners could implement the solution in their therapeutic protocols. R&D and technical partners are also envisaged to further develop the technology and new products within the frame of R&D and/or technical cooperations. Financial partners are welcome to provide financial resources to boost the next software generation.
Advantages and innovations
Compared to other existing solutions, the company is developing an immersive, collaborative and adaptive integrated suite of tools focused on daily life and not only on basic cognitive exercises. Thanks to Virtual Reality, exercises immerse the patient into everyday situations. The therapist can control and influence the exercise in real time. He/she can configure the difficulty of an activity, but also interacts on the exercise in real time, adds or removes obstacles, involves distractions, or provides context-sensitive strategic aids to the patient. It allows remote use, in which the therapist can manage a consultation with his patient via the Internet. Moreover, after a stroke or head trauma, the first 4 months are crucial in the recovery of cognitive functions: intensive and repetitive care is necessary. Unfortunately, a patient in a health facility can only work with therapists for 1-2 hours a day. With the solution, the patient have access to perform everywhere additional 3 to 4-hour-a-day exercises prescribed by his therapist, which gives him/her a greater chance of getting out of the health facility earlier and with less cognitive sequelae. Objective and automated patient performance is monitored and recorded. A therapist can thus propose individual or group sessions at the same time.
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