RGS News   •   17 April. 2021

Understanding and repairing the brain using virtual reality and digital technology tools.

The tools that scientists and medical doctors use today to study and cure the brain and the nervous system are not limited to anatomy, microscopy, and medicine. Modern neuroscience and medicine are multidisciplinary and make use of new fields of knowledge such as artificial intelligence, ubiquitous computing, digital and interactive technologies, including virtual reality and interactive gaming tools.

PROGRAM 10:00 -14:00

Workshop Overview Anna Mura

The SPECS-Lab at IBEC, has organized an online workshop on Technology Design for Health, with 24 high school students from Barcelona. At this workshop, students will learn how we use these new technologies to study how the brain works and also how to repair it if damaged after trauma, or after a stroke, or when we suffer from depression. The question we wanted to address with the participants is how digital technologies can help improve our well-being and when needed, provide rehabilitation programs personalized to each individual.

Rehabilitation using virtual reality and RGS demo Martina Maier

The Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS) is a Virtual Reality-based rehabilitation tool that combines theoretical neuroscience grounded intervention protocols with adaptation algorithms for post-stroke recovery. RGS has shown to be a valid approach to provide augmented multimodal feedback, effective sensorimotor training, and aphasia training in clinical set-ups. In this activity, you will receive a demonstration of RGS and its technological ingredients.

Digital technologies and at home Rehabilitation Javier de la Torre

We will describe the latest interactive and serious gaming technologies used for personalized healthcare and to improve wellbeing. The promotion of certain behaviors at the home of patients can be a key factor in improving chronic conditions. mHealth applications using mobiles or smartwatches have been used with good results to treat depression, diabetes, sports, etc. In the case of stroke, most patients experience impairments in the motor function of one side of the body, a condition known as hemiparesis. Monitoring the arm’s use during daily living activities could bring important empirical insights for arm use and motor recovery overall. Digital technologies and personalized feedback could become important tools for designing remote adaptive treatments. In this activity, we will explore concepts such as learned-non-use, the application of adaptive difficulty algorithms (such as the ones used in video games) applied to health and habit formation, and how this could be used in a wearable device for stroke patients.

Evidence-based techniques for the continuous diagnosis of mental health Héctor López Carral 

Digital tools can also be employed to deal with mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. In this activity, we will explore the different techniques we can apply to prevent, diagnose, monitor, and intervene in mental disorders by using modern technologies such as smartphones and wearable devices.