Systems development for diagnostics and dexterity rehabilitation by means of touchscreen technology

Confalonieri, Michele (2016) Systems development for diagnostics and dexterity rehabilitation by means of touchscreen technology. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


This thesis stems from the need to implement the existing technology in the rehabilitation. Smartphones, touch screen technology, apps, which are a common part of our daily life don’t find an application in clinical practice. The aim of this work is to verify the effectiveness of using this technology both in the hospital and outside. The exergames we developed can be played on usual touchscreen devices, on personal computers and on the custom device built in our laboratory. The device used during our experimentation is now installed in a medical facility with other latest generation medical devices like the Armeo and two different types of exoskeletons. In the first part of this project we focused on developing some exergames oriented to the rehabilitation of persons affected by strokes and in the characterization of people affected by Parkinson. In the second part, because of the strong correlation between physical activity and neurocognitive functions we decided to use the device since the very beginning of the rehabilitation process, developing some kind of exergames used also to monitor patients during this phase. Thanks to the collaboration with the medical staff we analysed and summarized the macro areas and the neurocognitive functions involved during the rehabilitation process. After that, we analysed some of the usual exercises given to the patients highlighting the neurocognitive functions involved, and for each exercise we defined some indicators, like touch precision and its standard deviation, mean of force and its standard deviation, total time to execute the test, number of errors, etc... To develop the exergames based on what we decided with the medical staff we used the game engine called Unity3D and we wrote the code of the exergames in C#. After a first test phase in which the medical staff tried the exergames and gave us a feedback, we fixed the bugs and decided to integrate all the exergames in a common platform. Then, we defined an official procedure for the rehabilitation program based on this new method in order to submit it to the ethics committee. In a second phase, the medical staff selected the group of patients to be assigned to the test program, and defined some useful indicators about the neurocognitive functions involved. Finally, to validate the efficiency of this protocol, patients need to executed the exergames for a certain time, after which the medical staff measured the indicators. In this way we were able to validate the efficiency of the exergames and of the device installed. By working in the European project NoTremor we developed two different type of test with the aim of characterize a model of people affected by Parkinson.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Engineering of Civil and Mechanical Structural Systems
PhD Cycle:28
Subjects:Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche > INF/01 INFORMATICA
Area 06 - Scienze mediche > MED/26 NEUROLOGIA
Repository Staff approval on:08 Apr 2016 12:22

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