Cognitive impairments are a major factor of loss of autonomy and dependence. They constitute a major problem of public health whose care is difficult and often beyond the expected efficacy. Rehabilitation is a global process with sequences of assessment and rehabilitation steps. Traditional rehabilitation methods lean on an analysis of the deficits and/or on a prolonged confrontation to daily living situations. If the individualized methods are the most appropriate, they are expensive to perform and time consuming. Too many patients are excluded from the access to care. It is thus necessary to find adapted and configurable tools that can be used by anyone and more often, in different places, such as rehabilitation centers, medical practices or at home. Based on immersion within virtual environments for activities of daily living, our approach takes place in the perspective of functional capacities rehabilitation and dependence reduction.
The assets of virtual reality to address this big problem of public health are today scientifically recognized, but commercial offers are almost inexistent. Therapists show their interest in the research works that aim at the improvement of cognitive efficiency by a new strategy of use of preserved cognitive potential. But to take out of the laboratories and to be accessible to the therapists and to the patients, these preliminary works must be resumed by manufacturers and research centers specialized in the techniques of virtual reality.
Our proposal and our design of the AGATHE project (Adaptable, configurable and upgradable tool for the generation of individualized therapeutic applications in cognitive rehabilitation) are based on these observations. AGATHE is positioned as an industrial research project that offers a new field of application of the technologies of the implied industrial partners. Its finality is the integration of new habits in the therapeutic practice to diversify the propositions of intervention in cognitive impairments rehabilitation. Therapists will see their intervention facilitated by the strategies proposed by AGATHE for patient's progress, help in the success of the task, cooperation and therapeutic intensification.
Thanks to an analysis of the needs of the various identified health markets and to an accurate specification of the features and the architecture of the tool, the six partners of the consortium guarantee on the success and on the wide distribution of AGATHE which joins in perspectives of: 1) Accessibility to care to the widest range of patients and deployment towards various cognitive pathologies (from traumatic brain injury to stroke and dementia) in order to reduce diabilities and to contribute to health savings; 2) Delivery of a therapeutic tool and associated services to the therapists and to the patients, favored by the new commercial strategy of the main industrial partner of the project which is the development in Life sciences activities.
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
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