December 10, 2016

What is VIHBRA?

VIHBRA is a virtual reality therapy system that stimulates training of neuromotor movements for patients with diability. Its is also a tool that can be used by medical professional to measure the motor joint parameters of a patient and track improvement as the rehabilitation process goes on. Virtual Reality is emerging as the future of rehabilitation in persons with motor disability.

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The virtual rehabilitation environments are designed using Walnut Medical Smart Camera, Walnut Medical Balance Board and other indigenous sensors including Inertial Measurement Units, EMG sensors, FSRs. Quantification of motor disability can be done through home-based videos that can be subsequently analyzed by Pediatric Neurology experts to assess the muscle groups involved. Also, it is possible that VR could be a part of this process by presenting the individuals with situations/tasks that require use of groups of muscles and body parts like an augmented rehabilitation measure such as Virtual Function Reach Test. The person’s responses could be recorded and analyzed by a Neurologist to quantify the extent of disability in various muscle groups. Stimulation of affected muscles can be done by designing tasks/games/activities using VR that would require movement of the affected muscles and body parts. On a larger side, the therapy system will not bring new activities, instead will try to enhance the existing activities of clinical relevance such as check board walking.

The VR system is linked to a virtual reward mechanism; as is used in interactive video games. Because the tasks are computer generated, there is a wide variety of activities that are designed to stimulate the interests of persons with motor disability and keep them engaged with the programme.

For home based physiotherapy and Rural India, patients can also be continuously monitored over cloud by the physiotherapists and for the first time the doctors will be provided with clinically relevant information to perform effective treatment planning. The system is indicative of potential paths for future research in motor rehabilitation based on Virtual Intelligence. Researchers will find this tool a better connect to interpret neuro developmental disorders.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION:

Walnut Medical Smart Camera Sensor:

Walnut Medical Smart camera is a motion sensing device that contains a depth sensor and a color camera that provides a full body skeletal tracking, representing the 3D coordinates of 25 body joints. The sensor lets users to control objects in the games using just their body movements.

The smart camera facilitates this by tracking and identifying their joints during user’s movements. Locations of a player’s joints in three dimensional space are acquired from the sensor and are used to follow the movement of the player.

Walnut Medical Balance Board:

The WMBB contains four transducers which are used to gauge pressure distribution and the resultant movements in COP. Both sitting and standing balance rehabilitation environments are developed over this raw data.