Project No 2

The development of  the new prototypes, innovative methodologies (approaches, methods, techniques) for social telerehabilitation, their approbation and implementation for provision of new services ( the Project Leader - Aleksandrs Gorbunovs)

Goals of Project No 2:

Using the conceptual results obtained by Project No 1, to do research, to develop and test a prototype of information system for effective correction of balance disorders:

  1. to elaborate a system for the development of balance function with the management of mobile device applications. 
  2. to prepare a set of preventive measures to provide telerahabilitation.

Objectives of Project No 2:

  1. To create a model for the innovative system of diagnostic and development of balance functions and elaborate audio-visual, interactive material for telerehabilitation support.
  2. Based on the findings, to work out a set of exercises for the diagnostic and developing of balance function that can be included in the scenario of an interactive game as a mobile application.
  3. To create a prototype of the system of the development of balance function.
  4. To carry out a pilot research and usability testing in a focus group for the improvement of the prototype.
  5. To perform comparative experiment to be able to do data analysis on a prototype and Biosway platform.
  6. Approbation of the prototype of the platform of the development of balance function and the use of the acquired data for the development of telerehabilitation e-platform.

Short description of activities of Project No 2:

  1. No extensive research has been done in Latvia on determination of balance function so far, therefore the findings will enable a clear conclusion about the prevalence of the problem in the context of the target audience. Carrying out the survey in the first project on the situation and exploring a wide target audience, the parameters will be determined affecting balance function and regulatory data. This project will provide characteristic technical parameters and within its framework the model of innovative diagnostics and development system of balance functions will be created. On the base of the results obtained in Project No 1 the audio - visual, interactive material for the telerehabilitation support will be developed.
  2. The research results will provide preliminary data on the balance function parameters of the target audience. Taking into consideration these parameters, a set of exercises with visual, audio and text playback will be developed. Exercises will be prepared to diagnose balance problems and to facilitate balance development. Taking into account the positive impact of developmental games, the elaborated exercises will be included in a scenario game that will be placed in the mobile device applications. In exercise elaboration process and preparing an appropriate set of exercises the interaction between proprioreceptive sense, visual control and vestibular system will be taken into account. It will be possible to use the developed applications in mobile devices as well as connect them to the balance platform prototype.
  3. The existing balance platforms can be divided into two groups: deep muscle training inventory (hemispheric, disc, foam platforms) and digital balance testing equipment (Biosway, DBA (Digital Balance Analyzer), ICS Balance Platform, etc.). Training inventory strengthens the muscles responsible for maintaining the balance, but it does not provide diagnostic information and it is not possible to record the dynamics of changes. Digital hardware is designed for a very precise determination of balance functions, which can be used in scientific research, but due to its high price it is not available for the general public. The anticipated balance training system prototype will be built based on widely available mobile devices and the sensors enclosed in these devices. Interactive mobile device application will stimulate balance development function. The creation of the prototype of the balance training system will be implemented by RTU Distance Education Study Centre in collaboration with the RTU Institute of Applied Computer systems.
  4. The elaborated prototype of the balance training system will be tested within the pilot research in the focus group of the target audience. During the pilot research it will be determined  whether the scenario of the game is interesting to the target audience, or the developed set of exercises is appropriate for the age group, the usability testing will be conducted and the need for technical additions to the platform and application functioning will be established.
  5. The prototype of balance system will provide the digital data on the task implementation accuracy. A comparative experiment to check the quality of the data will be carried out. During the experiment the participants will participate in standardized balance testing with high-precision hardware Biosway and the obtained results will be compared with the data acquired by the developed application. By analysing the obtained results, it will be possible to set the accuracy and dispersion of the application data.
  6. It is planned to approbate balance system prototype in a wider research, where the data on the parameters of participants’ balance function, the dynamics of changes and average showings, which have been obtained with the application, will be stored in the joint database. The accumulated information in the database will be analysed and used as a basis for the development of telerehabilitation e - platform. Application game will provide participants with the opportunity to compare their results with the average data base ratio, which increases the motivation to perform the tasks. The data collected will enable to determine a deviation from the average results, which will point to the risks of balance dysfunction, and it will provide an early diagnosis. E-platform will also provide a set of preventive measures for reduction of the risks of balance dysfunction. The users of other age groups will be able to use the developed e-platform products, too. Reduction of the risks of balance dysfunction is especially significant to elderly people, patients after stroke, people with movement disorders, and in the cases of mental illness.