1 University Politehnica of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
2 Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 6427-6435
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.1547
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
According to the World Health Organization, the number of people suffering from neurological conditions is constantly increasing. Unfortunately, not only elder people face these issues. Neurorehabilitation is an elaborate medical specialty, which has the goal of helping people who suffer from neurological disorders recover their lost capabilities. Restoring limb control, walking, or balance are needed to assure motoric independence, while speech and psychological therapy are essential for an efficient neurorehabilitation process.

However, neurorehabilitation training can become extremely costly and its accessibility might be restrained, giving the fact that existing therapists are often insufficient for the increasing number of sufferers. Furthermore, therapy expenses are usually free of charge only for a limited time period, while neurological conditions need an intensive, durable process of rehabilitation in order to show significant improvements. Individuals who see their life changing dramatically after suffering the neurological condition need to be trained and educated constantly in order to see an amelioration in their quality of life. Therefore cheaper, more accessible and flexible assistive solutions are needed.

Over the past years, technology has started to play a significant role in the development of medical devices and therapies. Virtual reality, an emerging technology which has the capacity of reproducing a great variety of real-life environments and situations, is gaining more and more ground and is proven to be successful even for neurorehabilitation.

We propose an innovative concept of an assistive device for neurorehabilitation training, which combines various technologies such as virtual environments, head-mounted devices, movement tracking, biosensors, emotion recognition and stress control. The system focuses on the creation of various virtual scenes where patients can relearn their lost capacities or retrain specific motions by accomplishing different training exercises. The system concentrates on four essential neurological conditions: stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and trauma of the central nervous system. Two subsystems are included: one for educating patients with neurological conditions and a second one for training medical therapists involved in the neurorehabilitation process. The main goal is to create a highly modularized system, which can be easily extended with a larger variety of exercises, suitable for a wide range of neurological conditions. We claim that our system would be suitable both for training people with neuro-motor disabilities, but also medical personnel involved in their recovery and medical students who learn recovery techniques.
Neurorehabilitation, virtual reality, assistive technology, neuro-motor disability, training.