PAN-ASSISTANT

Virtual Reality zur Unterst├╝tzung des
Reorientierungstrainings in der Neurorehabilitation

Virtual Reality to support reorientation training in neurrorehabilitation

Post-traumatic brain injury, individuals often struggle with adapting to both familiar and unfamiliar environments, including their own residences. The intensive reorientation training necessary to mitigate these issues demands a significant amount of personnel resources. Currently, there is no provision for in-house training.

Photo by Andi Weiland
Photo by Jon Hoekstra

The PAN-Assistant is designed to facilitate independent training for patients within their own environments (route training in the therapy area, orientation training at home). Utilizing software, patients can virtually rehearse their individual routes and visit landmarks.

Gradually, the affected individuals are expected to learn to navigate, for instance, within the therapy area.

Project details

Cognitive impairments are a common aftermath of brain damage (e.g., stroke or traumatic brain injury). Some individuals also experience disorientation, which hinders their ability to navigate both familiar and unfamiliar environments, including their own homes. The capacity to acquire new knowledge is often compromised as well.

Currently, disorientation is managed in everyday clinical practice through repeated practice of action steps in individual therapeutic care. This method is labor-intensive and time-consuming, resulting in inadequate treatment coverage, particularly for severely affected patients. The “PAN-Assistant” project is developing software for self-training that enables safe and individually tailored virtual path and orientation training. Technologies from the realms of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being utilized.

Given the often severe and typically complex physical and/or mental limitations in individuals with severe brain injuries, the development of digital therapy concepts presents both a technical and clinical challenge. The project team comprises industrial partners as well as academic and clinical institutions. Special emphasis is placed on the continuous involvement of the affected individuals to develop a digital training tool that is accepted by people with disabilities and is therapeutically beneficial.

In the future, the “PAN Assistant” aims to provide a technical solution for individually tailored orientation training to enhance the independence and participation of the affected individuals. This introduces a novel therapeutic approach that complements and expands current practice. The fundamental principles of this technology will also be applicable in other areas of neurorehabilitation in the future.

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